My youngest daughter is about to turn five years old.
Because of the schedule of events, we had her birthday party last Sunday. Ashley-Rae invited about ten kids. And six showed up. The parents of two announced their coming the morning of the party.
Therefore there was a flurry of activity before everyone arrived at one o’clock.
The attendees were 5 little girls and one little boy, and Alannah and Ashley-Rae of course. That makes eight kids all together.
The theme of the party was “Barbie’s Twelve Dancing Princesses”.
Ashley-Rae loves anything to do with Princesses. But she especially loves Barbie’s Twelve Dancing Princesses.
When I ask Ashley what she wants to be when she grows up, she says “a Princess”.
So I have to find her a Prince I guess.
The little boy was Raymond. Raymond is a tough little boy. I think that of all the little boys I know who are not in our family, Raymond is my favorite. Maybe because his name is Raymond - like my Dad.
Raymond is about three feet tall, and two feet round. Raymond is solid muscle. And Raymond does things his way.
This may not sound like your typical prince. But he is.
Last year, there was an older boy who picked on Alannah and Ashley-Rae at the daycare they went to, This boy was older than Raymond. And bigger too.
Raymond stood up to that boy. And he protected my little girls. They love him. And I do to. I go out of my way to let him know he is my bud.
So here is a yard full of twelve dancing princess stuff. And Raymond is running around like a bull in a china shop. My china shop.
All the games that we played, Raymond won. All the swimming in the pool was stifled by Raymond splashing like a crazed seal. And every five minutes, one of the little girls came to me crying that Raymond did … something … that bothered them.
”Well, let Raymond know that it bothered you” I told them. They did and Raymond said “I’m sorry” each time.
When it was cake time, Raymond put on his Princess party hat without even a second thought. And he commenced to banging his fork and screaming “WE WANT CAKE” – over and over again, until the seven little girls chimed in with him.
When it was time to open presents, Raymond was right there beside Ashley-Rae. He gave her his presents first. There were three wrapped presents in his gift. They were coloring books and crafts. And for each one he helped her when she needed help unwrapping it. And he explained what each craft would make. Very proudly.
When his presents were all opened and he finished explaining to Ashley-Rae what everything was, Ashley looked at Raymond and said in her five year old voice – with her pretty eyes fluttering her lashes and a sweet smile.
She said “Thank you Raymond”. And she kissed him on the cheek.
And that was the first time all day that Raymond didn’t know what to do.