This weekend, I had a lot of family time, as it was my niece's first communion. We all met at my brother's house, my other brother drove down with his two little ones (they are always sooo excited to see their cousins. It's totally cute) and piled into as few cars as possible to reduce the number of parking spaces we took up.
Four years ago, I flew home for my other niece's communion. I had mistakenly thought I could sleep on a red-eye (I can't) and spent the entire ceremony and following-meal-at-a-nice-family-restaurant in a state of near hallucinatory craziness. I was nauseous, disoriented, and unable to tolerate the too-bright sunshine on that particular day. But I was able to notice how adorably cute all the kids were (my niece was the absolute cutest of them all, of course) and how excited she was that I flew in from California to surprise her.
This time around, I was in much better shape since I had to travel only 20 minutes by car and was running off a delightfully kick-ass night's sleep. Plus, I had a good cardio workout and back stabilization exercises under my belt. It was pouring non-stop, so no glare to contend with. And while everyone was still cute as all get out, this time around, I was giving my niece the goofiest of them all award. (what a clown she is!)
The 11 year old did not miss the fact that more than half the 7 and 8 year olds getting their first communion were, in fact, bigger than she was. "It's NOT FAIR!" she wailed in perfect melodramatic perfection. Before climbing all over me and demanding a piggy back ride. I wanted to turn to her and yell "GET OFF! IT'S NOT FAIR!" I was actually smaller than her when I was her age, after all.
Same restaurant, more kids this time. Eight kids in all, tipping over chairs and crawling under the table. Miraculously, they did not dare touch the cake after the various death threats that were thrown their way.
And then it was back to the house for present time. Interestingly enough, I was thinking of my own first communion, when I received my very first ever WATCH!! It was a Cinderella watch with baby-blue strap and a picture of the princess on the watch face. (Her arms twirled around her body pointing out the correct time).
I can only imagine what my niece's reaction would be if I gave her a Cinderella watch. First of all, she's had --oh, about 8 watches so far. All digital. Most with a computerized voice that could TELL you the time out loud. Watches have become almost disposable now. Not to mention princesses. Sure, she went through her princess phase when she was aged 3 thru 5. But if I gave her any item with a princess on it at the age of eight, well, let's just say that my status as "The coolest aunt in the world" would be in serious jeopardy.
As it was, I decided to forgo the traditional, conservative route (savings bond) and embraced the fun route. (Just Dance game for the Wii). We spent the entire rainy afternoon dancing like lunatics in the den. All the cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents alike.
All in all, a good day.