My niece has been at my house a lot lately.  She stayed over last night and will again tonight.  I’ve been getting used to having her around.  She is at such an odd age.  Eleven.  What is that?  She is not a little kid anymore, but she isn’t quite a teenager. 

I’ve heard the term  "tween"  – she is  "in between."  That is definitely how she acts.  One minute she is full of deep thoughts and profound ideas then the next she wants to color and play board games.  We do both equally well together. 

We talk – a lot.  She loves to talk.  Which is nice, I’m reading so many books and articles right now about girls her age and older that get into trouble because they want to grow up to fast.  It is good that she likes to talk, because she is also willing to listen. 

She listens to my advice and she opens up about what is going on and the pressures she is facing.  That makes me feel good.  I know that I sometimes found it easier to talk to my sister or my cousin than my mom when it came to certain issues, and so I’m glad that she feels that she can do the same. 

She really is a good kid, and I would say that she doesn’t hear it enough, but I tell her all the time.

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