If Leah sees her mom or grandmother (my sister) on the phone, she assumes they are talking with me: "I want to talk to Aunt Anne." 7 of my 8 saved voice mails are of her precious little voice saying little more than "Hi, Aunt Anne." (She is my great-niece; so far, the one and only of that generation in our family.) Listening to one of those saved messages is a sure cure when I'm feeling overwhelmed by the piles of stuff in my office, although the mess remains...
She saw my picture on the fridge, and clutched it like a treasure. When I am in town, she runs toward me and wraps her chubby arms around my knees. Once in a while I am blest to be near the computer on my sister's baby-sitting day and we visit by Skype, and Leah presses her face so close to the computer screen that all I can see is the top of her head.
What did I do to merit such devotion? I had no idea...until on my last visit with Leah I was introduced to the Madeline books.
Well, maybe not "all" of it. Leah's other grandmother takes her to Church, and has clearly introduced the Virgin Mary as "Jesus' Mommy," and my sister has a statue of Our Lady in the backyard.
For two-year-old Leah, I seem to be the incarnation of those two formidable blue-veiled women. It's a bit daunting to think about, but I'm mighty glad to be ranked with them at least in the mind (and heart) of a little child.