Yasmeen and I spent last Tuesday evening together. We commandeered T3′s nursery so that we could talk about something terribly important. I’m not entirely sure what we were talking about, but obviously it was a most sincere conversation. I do recall that while discussing her curriculum in gymnastics and the things I like to do in yoga, we discover that we have many talents in common.
Naturally, the normal progression from sincere and calm conversation is to move to the wall and immediately stand on our heads, as we learned in yoga and gymnastics, respectively. My mother, Yasmeen’s grandmother, was there to see the whole thing. Also, mom wants credit as the photographer for our great acts of athleticism. Mom also told me that if that’s how we get down in yoga, then I ought not bother trying to get her to go anymore.
I think Yasmeen is tickled that old auntie can stand on her head. Then she tries to show me up by showing off some of her mad donkey kick skills.
Old auntie has a few donkey kicks up her sleeve.
Of course, we’re doing all this after a nice heavy meal from Panera Bread, so it’s not too long before Yasmeen and I have to go sit down. Of course, we go sit with T3, who is my favorite nephew and Yasmeen’s favorite cousin.
By some great magnanimity of the Universe, I have managed to talk Brittany, my sister and Yasmeen’s mother, into letting her come home with me on a school night. I have also managed to talk her into letting Yasmeen play hooky from school on Wednesday so we can have Chinese buffet for lunch. Brittany, and apparently the Universe, are feeling very generous.
Yasmeen and I leave before Brittany changes her mind.
Getting back to my house means many things on the way. We must stop for snacks. There is a pillow pet involved (you wouldn’t believe how wonderful these pillow pets are!) and we make a journey for pink lemonade before finally making it to the house.
Yasmeen installs herself in my room, which is overwhelming to a nine-year old and quite magical for anyone no matter their age. And she proceeds to tell me about Ganesha, who she says is her favorite. And His dad. And Kali, who is Shiva’s guard, which is why She has all those skulls around her waist.
Yasmeen says, “When She protects Him, she just cuts off people’s heads and puts ‘em around Her waist. ” I promise, she didn’t get that from me. I take this opportunity to tell her a sweet story about Durga.
Then we have to pull out notebooks because she needs one for every occasion. Lucky for her, Auntie Goddess has a notebook for every occasion and is able to supply her with what she needs. There is a cloth bound journal I’ve never used I think she might like. It has an elephant on the cover that reminds me of Ganesha. I ask her if she wants it.
She reaches her hands out to it.
I hand it over.
And a picture of Durga promptly falls out.
I forgot I put it there.
Now, right this second, we have to get the glue stick and paste this picture of Durga on the front page of her new cloth bound journal. Lucky I have lots of glue sticks, too. And oil pastels, for that matter, because Yasmeen insists that she has to color the picture and surrounding paper to make it nice.
I also swear I didn’t teach her “Peace Love Dance” but I have to say that I’m most impressed.
Now, I will say she’s gotten her interest in aromatherapy and “potions” from me directly. Given that, we have to make potion. Body lotion potion. With oils that…”Make people feel happy when they wear them, and relaxed, too, like they love everyone.” Her words describing the exact notions she wants this potion to evoke.
She got to the ready with one of her many multi-purpose notebooks so as to take copious notes regarding ingredients. And then we mixed everything. Mom wasn’t around to take pictures for us, but I’m sure you can imagine how fantastic we look making potions. Especially love potions. Most especially the most noble of love potions as cooked up by my frighteningly enlightened niece.
Eventually we both sort of fade into sleepy contentment. We smell like our potion, which we decided to call Sisters. Don’t be surprised to find this fragrance in a drugstore near you not too far in the future.
Yasmeen crumples into a heap before I do. Merryweather is relieved by this turn of events, as she’s tired of all the ruckus having a little one around entails. And just before I crumple into a cuddly heap with one of my favorite people in the world, I snap this picture to sort of summarize our day…
I might be Auntie Goddess, but this young lady is totally my guru.