After running errands with my parents for most of the day I finally got to visit my brother in the late afternoon! Last time I visited in 2009, I met his girlfriend Yulia and my niece Zariya, who was only 15 months old at the time. Zari is now almost 5 and has a little brother, Sami, who is 3 and whom Yulia was pregnant with last time I was home! I had seen pictures of him and he looked like a carbon copy of my brother at that age, so I couldn’t wait to meet him!
When I first got there, my brother was home with Zari, who’d been under quarantine for a week with a case of the measles. She didn’t remember me so she was shy at first, but that lasted for about 45 seconds. After that, she was lIke “ok, I guess that’s my auntie” and she happily talked my ear off while her dad was trying to tell me a story of his own at the same time. Not too long after, Yulia came home with Sami, whom she’d picked up from kindergarten on her way back from work. He was shy, too, for about the same amount of time as his sister, and after they ate, we opened up their presents. I couldn’t bring as much as I’d hoped with the stingy airline luggage limits, but I managed to sneak in a collapsible tunnel that they ended up loving – although next time I might bring something more neighbor-friendly (I imagine all the running around didn’t go over very well wiith the downstairs ones).
Seeing my niece and nephew was probably the starkest reminder of how precious time is, and how much I’d miss out on by living so far away. *sigh*. Someone remind me again why the supersonic Concorde airplane got retired?