I sit down on the zebra striped chair and watch Connor run around with a little boy who is probably a year or two older than him. Connor turns and looks.

“Aunty! C’mon!”
“But you are playing with your friend kiddo.”
“C’mon Aunty! Play! Slide!” He yells down to me from the tree house.
“Alright babe, I’m coming.”

I head up the wooden stairs after him.
My sister and I took the boys to an indoor play space today.  It was pretty cool.
Rather than the normal inflatable play areas they usually have, this one has a wooden tree house with a slide on each end. 
I go to cross a tiny bridge.

“Like this aunty” Connor points where I am supposed to step.

I go to cross the second one.

“Do this, Aunty.”  He shows me where to step.” Go”.
I laugh “Thanks kiddo, couldn’t have done it without you.”
“C’mon Aunty, slide!”

He sits down at the top of the slide, but doesn’t move.
He is just getting through a fear of tunnel slides.

“You ok? Do you need Aunty to go down with you?” I ask him

He looks up at me; I can see the tiny hint of fear in his eyes.

“Yea” He gets up so I can sit down first.
“No problem babe, we will go down together.”

I sit down, and he climbs in my lap, places my arms around his stomach and squeezes my hands.
I kiss the top of his head.

“It’s ok baby, it will be fun. Are you ready?”
“Ok, here we go!”

I scootch us forward and we begin to slide down.
It is a swirly tunnel slide. We go around the first bend, and already Connor is giggling. 
It is only about 4 seconds from top to bottom, but Connor loves every second.
We get to the bottom, Connor looks up at me with a goofy grin.

“Was that fun?” I ask him
“Yeah! Again!”

I lean down to give him a hug. He hugs me back and gives me a kiss as well.

“I love you Connor.”
“Love you!”

He turns and takes off to run up the stairs again, this time by himself.
He stops between the two bridges and looks down at me smiling.

“C’mon, Aunty!”

This time he doesn’t wait for me.
This time he runs to the slide and goes flying down.
No hesitation.
No fear.
Complete excitement.
I smile to myself and go sit down on the zebra striped chair until he needs me again.