And then I will be an aunt! This is probably a case of appropriation, but regardless of how it make me appear I'll share it anyway – I am SO excited. My feelings are hard to put into words which is why I am struggling with this a little bit.
This was something that really hit home when we had the baby shower.
While I have only ever been to one shower, that being the one for my sister, it was the best one I will ever attend. Mainly because it gave me the chance to express myself without the need for words. I could simply help prepare and choose things that I knew she would appreciate and at the same time she would know that they came from me. It is a sister thing I guess.
Everything that I would help with I did help with. From helping get the guest list together and sending out the invitations to managing the RSVPs. Oh, and I got to "help" pick out the invites as well. Actually they pretty much left it up me.
And that was a lot of fun.
There are a lot of different options which is one of the reason that got the job. It was clear that they were overwhelmed with the choice in invitations and quickly threw up their hands.
I mean it isn't like I am pregnant myself but regardless there is this sort of excitement that is making me antsy. Anticipation would be one way to describe it but then there is more to it. The biggest factor that is making me nervous is that I want to be there for my big sis but it is difficult since we don't really live that close by. We speak more frequently now that when we were in the same house. It is strange how distance can improve some relationships.
To make a short story long, in one month from now I will be an aunt. And I am excited and terrified at the same time. That is the most direct I am be. Becoming a mother would probably totally freak me out, but my sister is handling the pregnancy amazingly well, especially considering that it doesn't seem like it was all that easy. Though I think that people that claim their pregnancy was easy are just down playing or forgetting all of the pain and changes it produces in our bodies.
Can you really tell somebody what it is like to wait for a child to be born? I don't think that I even completely comprehend the whole process. The changes that one's body goes through during pregnancy are incredible and a little bit overwhelming. At least to me. But my sister has held up well through out the last eight months and has what I can assume would be a relatively easy pregnancy so far without any complications on the foreseeable horizon.
It would be both sort of embarrassing for her to go through them. And I will save you for the details as well because there is a chance some of you may blush as well. Needless to say it was an eye opener for me as well, because as much as I wish some of it would have been left out I got a pretty detailed account of the whole experience.
My solution has been simple. Listen. Maybe I won't be pregnant anytime soon but I figure what I learn now will be able to help in the long run. Any information is better than no information and even if it doesn't help in the foreseeable future it might: a) help somebody I know b) be a base to build my experience on.
Right now I am just practicing being the best aunt that I can be for when my niece/nephew is born.
When I think of everything that has changed in the last five years in my life I am a little overwhelmed. Five years ago my sister was still living at home and didn't even have a boyfriend. Now? Now she is going to be a mother.
The idea of becoming an aunt it thrilling. And it has given me a chance to do some amazing things.
I've always admired Disney for being one of the first studios willing to put women in the forefront of story without making them glorified plot devices. Though I have to admit that I am not certain this was a purposeful act. Jeffery Katzenburg didn't think that "The Little Mermaid" would be a hit since it was targeted at girls. I am not sure who the other movies were targeted to then.
Which leads me to ask this question who is your favorite? Mine personally would be a Mulan - though technically she isn't a princess - but she is one of the better of the Disney heroines.
But I always loved how her personal mission and goal was devoid of her romance. And how she just happened to fall in love with along the journey.
Mulan is also a favorite for being such a badass!
It's interesting that Mulan is the only "official Disney princess" that is not a princess by birthright or marriage. A "Disney Princess" is very different than a princess from Disney. It's a specific marketing bloc that Disney arbitrarily defines.
My best friend likes Moana and we have gone around about this before. Which is better Mulan or Moana? Mulan had the better character arch than Moana in my opinion. For one she was not expected to be anything more than a good child bearing wife, and that even if her parents treated her better than the cultural expectations did, there's still that idea that her options are limited.
Moana had chiefdom ahead of her and was encouraged/expected to be headstrong, confident, intelligent.
Anyone who grew up in a household or culture similar or the same as Mulan grew up in know how difficult it is to overcome that upbringing, because you're not just fighting against actual people and institutions or laws, you're fighting against the part of yourself that agrees with them.
Moana is good because She is determined, has a specific goal that benefits her people, not just herself. No romantic interest, teaches a demi-god a few lessons along the way. I love that she is preparing to actually lead the people and take on the responsibility.
I think often Disney portrays "princesses" as "somebody important, rich, and pretty but with relatively few responsibilities" in sch a way that it undermines the message. So what? Is the ultimate feminine ideal to be a beautiful decoration that doesn't have to do anything but look pretty? I think that is why Moana is strong, it shows a young woman who is poised to lead her people one day and understands/embraces the responsibility. But it still places her in a position of privilege. Mulan has to fight against different adversities in a more believable setting.
But that is just me.
So who's would everyone else be?
Whenever I do marathons, I like to have a theme to connect the films in some way. Sorry if you thought that I was actually talking about marathons. Me? That is most certainly a nope. Anyway, I have a list going of different ideas, and they range from simple to complex(ish), but I'm always interested to see what others can come up with. Which is why I decided to layout some of the past marathons that I have gone. Some that I have thought about, and some that I would never want to sit through.
Some examples include:
The Galaxy Marathon:
The Cornetto Trilogy: (Simon Pegg)
This could also be used as an example of a marathon for films written, directed and starring the same person. Robert Zemeckis is another good example of this category because you "Back to the Future" and a whole bunch of Tom Hanks movies to choose from.
Some other ideas include:
I think with streaming services like NF and H you really have more options now when it comes to watching these types of marathons. I remember when I was a teen we would come of with these sorts of ideas and we would try to rent them from BB but you often didn't find everything that you were looking for.
Stockholm syndrome is often batted around for being the theme for "Beauty and the Beast" but I disagree. While the definition for Stockholm syndrome can applied it has some facets that do not overlap with the Disney fairytale:
the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor 
This would fit if the story only focused on the captivity aspect of the "relationship" though it goes further. Beast does release her so she can care for her ill father. This takes it out of the scope of pure Stockholm syndrome that tag that many like to place on the film.
That choice on the Beasts part is critical for me, and because of it it reminds me more of an abusive relationship than Stockholm.
Throughout the film we get a sense of bad moral being projected from the Beast. Yet the underlying message is that if you just love him enough he will change. He will go from a Beast to a Prince! This is not how an abusive relationship works. And that is the most disturbing part about it as a whole.
This is much more destructive than the Stockholm syndrome comparison since many women either find themselves currently in an abusive relationship or will find themselves in one at some point.
When you start having these views when watching an animated movie that is the moment you realized you're getting old.
My niece/nephew* has just turned six months old. Incredible how fast time goes by.
My sister was very clear what she was willing to let me share and what not. And this is one reason why I haven't posted any photos etc.. Even babies gender was taboo and I am respecting those wishes.
When we were growing up personal boundaries were critical to our harmonious co-habitation of our household. Now that we have some space things are a lot more relaxed and I would go as far as saying they have become completely harmonious, something that our parents were never able to create.
As we were growing up it seemed like I was required to get on her nerves and I did do things to provoke a response from her. Now that isn't the case which is why I am more than happy to comply with her request here.
To say that half a year has gone by seems sort of trivial, but it really isn't. A lot happens in those first few months. A lot of development, though small, can be seen. From the initial weeks where I think my sister physically aged years to a steadily improving sleeping and eating rhythm to a bright inquisitive.
What has this really taught me?
Take things day by day.
Has my sister messed up sure. Anyone can and will mess up. It is simple to do but you can also learn from it. And most importantly, if you can't figure it out there are plenty of people you can ask for help/advice.
Look at it a a growing process, not just for the baby but for you as a parent as well.
I am writing this because my sister won't.
Some of you have been getting vocal about what you believe to be "good parenting" in what you perceive as bad parenting on my sister's part. To be fair to her and her husband you would have to acknowledge that they live very far away from most of you.
So some of the things that I need to get off my chest and place out there in the open for everyone to get an idea of what my sis and SO are going through with new baby, and the trial of first time parents are:
I know that you thought that the list would be harsh, and for some of you it might be, but these are reasonable expectations for you to respect. When you can't do that it isn't their problem.
Raising a baby is hard work, it is rewarding, and the more they get the hang of it I am sure parenting will get easier but right now they have their hands full and they would appreciate your understanding.
I recently went on a big Disney nostalgia kick mostly because of the remake of Aladdin and just started watching the animated features in no specific order though I though about going through them in production order.
Wish me luck!