We spent a busy weekend together, and we had some lovely bonding moments. I read her bed-time stories, and taught her to play Noughts and Crosses. She played teacher and I sat obediently on the mat, as she rapped her wand on the whiteboard easel to get my attention. Her uncle (DH) filled her paddling pool and almost gave himself a hernia making waves in it, to her delighted giggles. We watched Tangled and Rio with her (and probably enjoyed them more than she did). And we took walks with her and Jeff The Dog. I felt sad that we don't live closer, that she really doesn't have a strong sense of who we are.
But I didn't come away with a sadness that we don't have a child. Not really. I saw my sister struggle - struggle with working and time and energy, struggle with a five-year-old who knows what she wants and DOESN'T want, and struggle with the particular health concerns that come with this particular child. And I didn't envy her. I felt compassion for her. And I wished I lived closer - to help out, babysitting or cooking meals - to help make their lives easier. And to have the little one in our lives. That said, getting home last night, to peace and quiet, was quite a relief.