Once upon a time…
Aunt Shanna got to Facetime her two nieces and two nephews (cousin’s kids that call me Aunt Shanna) and it made her entire week complete.
A friend and I coined the phrase, “concentrated happiness,” and that applies in this case! My mom is visiting my aunt and cousins in California, so I got to Facetime with half of my favorite people all at once. It’s not the same as being there–aka I didn’t get to taste my cousin’s gourmet barbecue chicken–but it was great to be present on screen.
The oldest, Drew, is a 7-year-old soccer-playing, Mandarin-speaking thinker. The second, we’ll call her Princess Dee, is the most beautiful 5-year-old princess who dances around in pink dresses and already loves to read (obviously related to me!) Cal is three and I swear there is a special button in my heart that he knows how to push–it’s impossible to stay mad when he eats all your jellybeans, because he gives you those big brown eyes and exclaims, “I ate dee jewwy beanth!” (watch out, future girlfriends.) The last is the Baby, who just turned one. She is the most chill, easy-going baby you’ve ever seen–she has to be, to put up with the other three running around and screaming all the time! She just smiles her way through life!
Let me describe for you the chaos of having four kids under 8, two parents, an aunt, a grandma and an aunt via Facetime all together on an average evening:
Not two minutes into the call, Drew and Princess Dee have donned their animal bathrobes (the hoods have ears) and are charging the camera phone, making terrible monster noises.
“What is that noise?” asks Aunt Shanna. “It’s so scary! Look at those scary monsters!”
Then, in a completely unrelated emotional outburst, Baby shrieks a giggle and takes off running down the hall on her tiptoes.
Next, Drew and Cal start manufacturing paper airplanes, testing their speed and how straight they can fly across the living room, soaring over Aunt Linda’s head.
Baby comes back to play peek-a-boo with me on the camera phone.
Princess Dee has an airplane, too, but soon she has a better idea: “let’s play the game where you guess what the thing is, okay, Aunt Shanna?”
We play endless rounds of guessing: it’s a teddy bear whose name is Ariel! It’s a backpack with a puppy on it! It’s a pink firetruck! But then it gets harder: guess the princess!
Side note: I don’t know about you, but I barely knew the original Disney princesses when I was a kid. I saw the movies a few times, but I never reached devotee status. And that was in the 1990s.
Did you know there are a whole set of new princesses?
Apparently, there are. And OBVIOUSLY Aunt Shanna was supposed to know this…
…so don’t tell Dayna, but I had to Google the name of the frog princess!
Thankfully, just then their mama called for dinner, and Aunt Shanna was spared an additional round of Disney trivia. A quick round of “bye, love you!” and Aunt Shanna went to bed with her cheeks aching from smiling and her heart much fuller than it had been in a long time. AKA, happily ever after.