I got to re-connect with my brother who I haven't really had a decent conversation with in over a decade. I got to know my sister-in-law better. She honestly seems to fit into our family so comfortably that qualifying the sister label with in-law hardly seems necessary. I also got to fall in love with my 1 year old niece. She however only had eyes for Catherine and the two of them had an absolute ball with one another.
Leaving was tough. There was nothing I could do or say that could help Catherine feel better as she said goodbye to her aunt and niece and when we had to give my brother a farewell hug at the airport she began to cry again. Turns out my daughter, who I always knew was a softy, has a huge and fearless heart. When she connects with people she doesn't hold back, doesn't keep pieces of herself in reserve or stay aloof in order to spare herself when the inevitable parting happens. She might be a little shy to begin with but it's not long before she's engaged with those around her and loving them fiercely.
For me, someone who always hangs back and is an absolute emotional coward, it's awe inspiring.