Being the elder in a large, extended family can translate into one of my favorite (and I'm sure sometimes irritating) habits now. I tell my nieces and nephews -- and great nieces and nephews -- stories about themselves when they were little.
My niece on my husband's side, Nuiko, is a harpist who plays all over the country. She was featured in a solo concert in an art gallery in Chicago Friday evening. I met her in 1984, when she was just 4 years old. She was a shy, beautiful girl who talked in whispers, often in your ear, if she felt too bashful to look you in the eye while chatting.
Now, she is a first-rate performer, exuding poise, as she takes bows, explains to the audience the harp compositions she plays.
After the concert, as I hugged congratulations, I reminded her of the child she once was, so shy she spoke in whispers. And look at you now, I said, playing your music for the world.
She smiled, a gracious smile, didn't roll her eyes. This is the proud part of getting older I really like.