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I can’t believe how close my niece is to my father. It just strikes me on this picture again (a few pictures are representative, it’s not always the case but sometimes and even if I haven’t seen her for the past 8 months (and god knows how kids change quickly at that age), I’m sure I am not wrong when I say this). She’s very keen on him (never was afraid, yet he has a beard, well, he used to be a lot more terrifying when all his hair was black – I can’t write dark brown as he really had black hair and looked like a North African people on his driving license, he’s always proud to show people what a tuft he had!) and he is really into her but I guess it’s kinda of normal with the first grandchild and as Claire really is the daughter he always wanted. Not that I don’t complaint not being loved. My parents never had a favorite. But my mother told me that he said before having kids, that he would “have a daughter named Claire and that she would have long black hair”. Well, guess what my sister looked like when she was a teenager?? The perfect description. I don’t think what my mother told is a lie or made-up phrase once my sister grew that age.

I really do miss my niece. I can’t stand that I am missing time with her and that she won’t be as comfortable with me as she is with the rest of the family. She sees my parents and my brother pretty often and I am so glad it is so, as my parents are fabulous with children (my mother has been a nanny for the past 18 years and a great mum before and still). They had her a week during summer and another week in October because her nanny was sick and my sister, brother-in-law and my parents meet on many occasions during weekends.

Sometimes, I wish I knew my niece as I follow other kids on the internet, like the son of my cousin (his wife has created a private group on Facebook and on the first 6 months posted minimum 3 pictures a day now that she’s back to work it’s a little less 😉 ), like Mark, the toddler of Zhu on her blog Correr es mi destino, like Marlowe, the 4-year-old creative cute girl on ohdeardrea blog, or the cute little one on girl nesting. Well, I can say that I know those kids but I have seen many pictures of them and with the stories their mothers are writing, I know what they have been doing, what happened and I guess I imagine the rest.

I admit it’s very tempting to jump in a plane or to decide to come back living in France, when I see them via Skype having a nice family meal, clinking glasses and laughing together. But I do love living abroad, discovering a new piece of difference culture every day (almost). And I am sure that, one day, this will make my niece very proud what I accomplish now.

But don’t worry, my Soline, we are gonna make up for the lost time. I got a loooong list of things I plan to do with you on the week before Christmas. We’ll have fun, I promise. And I will try to restrain myself from kissing and hugging you all the time!!