My aunt visited last week. I've met her briefly over the years, but never spent any significant time with just her before. She and my mom had an adversarial relationship as kids and she was pretty absent throughout my childhood, mostly by my parents' design, and I really didn't start connecting with her until I had kids. She's on a three month world tour, a Danish friend of mine said he was envious and when I told my aunt, she said she was envious of herself too! I didn't know what to expect, but was delighted to find my aunt an easy house guest, a very capable person and an interesting conversationalist. It was surreal spending time with her, because she has so many verbal ticks, facial expressions and just basic wiring in common with my mom. It was like having some sort of alternate dimension version of my mother staying over. My son was naturally thrilled to have someone knew to hang off of. When she said she was going to shower the first day, he striped naked and ran into the bathroom with her, announcing that he would be showering too. For the record, it's so hard to get that kid to bathe, I don't do it more than once a week and sometimes less if he's not too dirty. He let her put him to bed with stories of the hiding together in rabbit warrens and keeping quiet so as not to wake the bunnies. My daughter is not as quick to warm up to people, but enjoyed getting some extra cuddles too. It was a good visit, but I have the odd sensation that by now having spent time with my aunt and seeing what she has in common with my mom, I have a new window into what my grandmother was like as a parent. I wonder if I ever get a chance to do the same with my uncles what sort of picture it will all paint!