Santa Monica, California, USA --- Hispanic mother hugging children --- Image by © Ronnie Kaufman/Larry Hirshowitz/Blend Images/Corbis

My perception changed, however, when my first niece was born eleven years ago. I felt so much love for her that only then was I aware of how a child can make life more meaningful. Becoming an auntie made me more aware of what it means to be a parent. By traveling with my sister and her baby, I got to understand why kids cry on a plane—their little ears hurt! Their poor parents suffer the pain too, and to add insult to injury—my sisters tell me so—they unjustifiably feel embarrassed about their kids crying in public. Now, when a mother with her baby sits next to me on a plane, I try to make her feel comfortable instead of tuning out.