The girls saw their Uncle Kevin this weekend, a first for Rachel and an effective first for her sister.
Evangeline first met Uncle Kevin a little more than five years ago, when he married his first wife. She was about two years old and went to New Orleans for the wedding with her mother, staying with my aunt and uncle and giving my mother a good reason to visit her older sister for the first time in years.
I was, I admit, a little uncertain how well the girls would hit it off with their uncle. The last time I saw Kevin was in 1998, at my own wedding, and I had seen him only once before then. I had no idea how he would react to having kids around, and I know from experience that the girls, particularly Evangeline, can be shy around new people.
Things got off slowly at first. We arrived at the house of Natasha's Aunt Beatrice a little past noon, and were joined an hour or so later by Uncle Kevin and his fiancee, and Natasha's grandmother and greatgrandmother. The girls, particularly Evangeline, played games by themselves and did little to socialize with their relatives, however we urged them.
Around four o'clock, the water pistols came out, and that's when things started to get better.
I'm not sure who started it -- I know I had a role in it -- but before long, the girls had taken a liking to shooting Uncle Kevin and Aunt B, and their father. And Uncle Kevin grabbed a gallon jug full of tap water, and started throwing it at people, particularly at Aunt B, although he threw smaller amounts at the girls. The wall had been broken.
It came tumbling down the rest of the way the next morning, when the girls got into a knock-down, no holds barred pillow fight with their uncle. I wondered from time to time if the air mattress would burst, or if the pillows would, but everything held together the entire time, including Uncle Kevin, despite cries of "Sit on him, Rachel!" and everything else.
The momentum of the pillow fight carried over to Tuesday morning, when the girls ganged up on me. Somehow I became Bizarro, Rachel became Wonder Woman, and Evangeline became Jump Girl, with the two superheroines determined to bring me to justice, even when I stole the Tinkerbell pillow Magic Lasso of Truth.
Lots of fun. I wish every parent and uncle could know the selfless wonder of whalloping young children with pillows.