Sunday, July 21, 2013
The little blonde-haired girl looked up at me, sparkling blue eyes on a face filled with wonderment. "Aunty Kar," she said in a voice much like the sweetest Disney character ever. "I wanna be a princess for trick-or-treat." I knelt down, giving her a hug, remarking on what a wonderful idea that was. My heart cracked for her, this innocent little child, my niece, Elizabeth, three years old. What will life hold for her, what's in store? No matter what path she may take as she grows, right here in this moment, she's a little princess in her mind.
We played in an old-fashioned sprinkler, turned to its lowest setting since her baby sister only likes it that way. We splashed in the puddle on the sidewalk, wetting our bare feet, the three of us, giggling as if it was only us. A special, heartfelt moment for me, seeing their smiles, these two little girls, feeling their joy in the simpleness of the day. Warm sunshine surrounded us, bees buzzing in the nearby zinnias, my father's prized flowers. The youngest, Elena, a face full of awe, reached toward the delicate blossom at one point, and I gently guided her to lovingly caress the flower, to be careful so we could enjoy it, especially since we didn't want to upset Pappy. A little child can understand beauty and want to care for it, for she stroked the petals with her chubby little fingers as if petting a small animal.
In moments like these, I thank God above for becoming an aunt. Though I'm not a grandparent yet, I know what it must feel like to have that special bond for your grandchildren. I understand the innocence, awe and amazement these precious little ones feel as they experience life for the first time.
May they both blossom like the beautiful flowers. May their lives be whole and good, blessed and loving. May they come to know God and goodness. And may I be there with them as they grow, teaching and guiding, playing and learning from them what its like to be innocent again.
I love you Elizabeth and Elena.