My niece and I were in the mall about a year ago. (You will need to first understand that my niece, Bo, is a girly girl. She’s my little princess. Mostly, she’s everyone’s princess, and even if you don’t know Bo, it wouldn’t be difficult for you to make the jump in believing she’s a princess.) And when we were in the mall, she was waving her little hands around like she’d been watching her Nanna on the phone with her book club ladies far too often. She’s waving her hands and telling outlandish stories which I don’t even doubt have happened. They really probably have.

And every time she sees a stroller she throws her arms out as far as she can, hitting my thigh and causing the mall-world to halt. “Auntie, LOOK at that baby!”, she’d scream and sigh like a 1930’s actress. “I just have to go see him, pah-lease!” And so we’d walk over to the new mom and child, sometimes even a new dad would be there too. And Bo would ask questions and coo at the baby like she’d always known these strangers. And I’d ask how they were holding up, and they’d mostly be glad for being anywhere outside their home at this point. And we’d say goodbye and Bo would shake her head in unbelief that a child, any child, could be so CUTE. I’d smile at the ministry she’d just opened me up to, encouraging new parents like I’d known what I was talking about.

And as we get near the new puppies in the pet store, I’d turn down and hold her hand “Girl,” I joked “You’re going to have a baby by the time you’re thirteen.” She turned up at me with longing, glimmering eyes and says, “I know”.

I laughed at the absurdity, and she giggled with an uncomprehending four-year old mind. I love this little princess. She so knows her worth and loves her life. The thought of engaging with strangers and making their day is now a common occurance for Bo. She is a daughter of the King, and I’m learning from her slowly.