We drove up to their house and there were half a dozen teens on the front lawn chasing and kicking a ball and a good time was being had by all. Arianna ran over to us, gave us our hugs and kisses then ran back to rejoin the play that was ongoing on the front lawn. Michael (our younger son and father to the Princess) took the large box from the truck and I swear the box was smiling. It was happy to be a part of the frolic, I tell you. As we went inside, the smile slipped a bit from box's flat face. There in the middle of the floor were two babies, a boy and a girl. One was maybe a year old. the other one was two. They had their toys scattered around them and spared not a glance at boxy. He sat in the corner of the room awaiting his opening so he could spill his contents out onto the floor for Arianna's perusal. After all the food was devoured, happy birthdays sung, candles blown out and cake and ice cream served came present time. Boxy sat swollen with pride that he was the biggest box there and couldn't wait for the ripping and tearing to begin. And so it did. Arianna grabbed her loot and took it to her room to lay on her bed till she could give it the proper attention, but the four girls ohhed and ahhed over how great it was going to look. The boys there could have cared less and were busy sitting on the floor kicking a balloon around, yelling "don't let it touch the floor". The girls came back to the front room and joined in. Even the adults got involved in the play. Someone had taken all the paper and plastic from within Boxy and he sat waiting for someone to pay him attention. The babies could have cared less. They were more interested in naps than play. Then Arianna's eyes found him...boxy grinned as she quickly crawled over and like a flash was inside and laughing. The other kids noticed the fun and the game was on. As soon as one long legged teen vacated boxy's depths, another took its place. Boxy, once crisp and bright and new, was losing it's shape and shiny glow. Wrinkles now appeared on its once flawless face and little rips appeared where the box once closed itself off at the bottom. Arianna now had boxy back and wore him like a coat. From across the room we heard her father say "who do you think you are, SpongeAriannaSquarepants?" The room erupted in laughter as she replied "that's who I want to be for Halloween" and he replied with "careful what you wish for, when we lived in England your grandmother dressed me in a box for Halloween!" Laughing, I said, "yes, but you won for best costume...a calculator".
The party went on for a while longer, till boxy lay flat on the floor, worn out from all the fun that had been had at its expense. As I looked over at the flat little pile of fun, I was so glad that Arianna was not as grown up as she would have us believe. Maybe we had another year or two before she would be too cool to get down on the floor and play with a box.