by Caleb Peter

Usually, my house is pretty quiet. As the youngest kid in my family, all of my siblings have moved off into the world, so I’m the only one living at home with my parents. It’s been pretty mellow. Rachel has been at college, Aaron is training to be a state patrol officer, and my oldest sibling David is a member of the 101st Airborne and is stationed in Fort Campbell, Ky. with his wife and child.

That’s just the way life is. The bird must learn to fly and leave the nest. Everyone has different places to be, different responsibilities and jobs. But now, the house has been loud. Not only loud but happy. The whole Peter family was in the same place Saturday, talking, playing card games, cooking, enjoying food, and watching The Office. It’s been great. We only get together once or twice a year, so this has been special. What’s the most special is the latest addition to the Peter family, Vada June Peter. She is my niece, and David’s daughter.

She turned one this June, and she’s the funnest monkey to be around. At the age of one, she’s curious about the world around her. She’ll touch and pick up any object. She’ll bang pots against pans just for the sound of it. She also loves it when everyone around her sings. She’s obsessed with Moana, the despicable yellow Minions, and she is an avid peekaboo expert.

I love being an uncle, and I am excited to watch Vada grow up. When she turns my age, I will be 33. As my senior year is beginning, I’m wondering where I will be at when I’m 33. I’ve thought about the opportunities that are available, and it’s crazy to think that when Vada reaches my age, I’ll be 33 years old. Hopefully I’ll have a career and family. As for right now, I’m not worrying about it. I know I’ll figure it out.

The reason David and his family are visiting the house is because he will be stationed in Hawaii for the military. They are leaving in a month. They’ll be in Hawaii for the next three years, so we won’t get to see them as often. It’s sad to see them go, but I know they’ll love it. The family will always keep in touch through our facebook group chat called “Vada Fan Club.” It’s a group chat specifically made to watch adorable Vada videos daily.

Oh and here’s the best part: the family and I will definitely be visiting Hawaii this summer. I can’t wait for all the adventure that awaits. I’ll be having a blast in the ocean, surfing in Hawaii. Before I know it, I’ll come back from Hawaii, go to college and get a job, but how will I do that? Well, that’s a column for another time.