I'll always appreciate my niece Zoe for the way she single-handedly has eradicated most memories of me as a child by carrying just enough of a resemblance to my photos to pass off as my own.
-Who's that loud-looking child with the patchy hair?
-I don't know, some orphan with a rash. Hey, here's a cute picture of me with flowers in my hair!
But I'll always love Zoe for crawling into my heart like a little tick refusing to leave. And I accept. She'll out-eat any adult at the dessert table, she's always brushing the hair out of her eyes, the only thing I see her do more than laugh is lie, and she calls all her stuffed animals by the same name. Except for the one that was named Kari on the tag. That one she calls Maggie.
Zoe's been working her way up the rankings as my favorite niece/nephew (we really need a gender-neutral term for this unit already) for the last five years. But five years to the day and she's done it. Happy birthday, Zoe. On the seventh. Sorry. Tuesdays and Thursdays are very easy to confuse.