A little boy got on the bus, sat next to a man reading a book, and noticed he had his collar on backwards. The little boy asked why he wore his collar backwards.
The man, who was a priest, said, 'I am a Father.'
The little boy replied, 'My Daddy doesn't wear his collar like that.'
The priest looked up from his book and answered: ''I am the Father of many.'
The boy said: ''My Dad has 4 boys, 4 girls and two grandchildren and he doesn't wear his collar that way!'
My niece, E, is turning 5 this December and I wish every day that she would never grow up, kind of like Peter Pan but without the package to worry about when wearing tights. If you want an honest opinion, ask a four year old. You might not always like what you hear (yes, I know I should never have bought those white pants in the first place, hippo hips), but it's never meant in a vindictive way:
"It's nice hugging you, Ladytruth; you're soft like a marshmallow."
I might be a curvy marshmallow, but at least I get the hugs and you don't anorexic aunt Mary.
E doesn't mind if you play with her hair and whatever she has in her lunch box, you can be sure to at least get half of it. Plus she knows where Mother (who looks after her during the day until my sister picks her up after work) keeps the cookie stash. Bonus. She's like a puppy: always happy to see me, but without the licking. More sanitary.
I know, however, that as soon as she comes home requesting a Hannah Montana backpack which looks just like the other girls' at school, it's over. The corruption has started and it'll be good bye butterfly kisses.
I know this because it happened to my six year old niece, N; my brother's little angel/devil when no one's looking. My mom and I blame the kids at school, but we know that's just silly. We're just sad about our eldest Peter Pan exchanging her green tights for a pink tutu. And Hannah Montana backpack.
We can't keep them sheltered under the blanket of protection and love and affection all the time. They need to experience the world for themselves, they need to explore and learn and yes, there will be times when they'll cry, but we'll be there with the Kleenex factory right behind us. We'll be there when Jean-Michael pushes them off the swing and run away leaving them alone in the sand; we'll be there when they ride their bikes with the pink and blue ribbons without the safety wheels for the first time; we'll be there when they blushingly admit they like the blond boy who draws pretty pictures. We'll be there.
I love my nieces slash godchildren. But sometimes it's nice giving them back to their parents when the day's over.
N (on the right): Man, my party blows.
E (stuffing her face on the left): At least the food's good.
E rocking the Minnie Mouse ears.
This post was inspired after reading about otherworldlyone's beautiful little Hannah