|The birthday girl (left), my little princess (center) and "Tangled"!|
One of the things I love most about being a mom are the constant reminders about what life was like as a child: The enthusiasm, the unfettered faith, the curiosity, the ability to let things simply be magical...no questions asked.
While it certainly is important that we grow up, that we become more responsible and develop our abilities to see life in more practical terms, we so often do so at the expense of those childlike qualities that we used to possess-- qualities that just might help us cope with life a little bit better, enjoy life a little more fully, live in a way as to be open and not closed to new experiences.
I was reminded of this yesterday as I drove two little girls, both almost 5, to a birthday party; a Princess party.
We were sitting in the car on the way to the party and Amelia proudly said,
"I got up a early this morning to get ready for the party!"
Alright, I'll admit, my first thought was...Your poor mom. I bet you did!
Because, as we all know, parents of young children get a little crabby about their sleep-- more likely their lack of sleep on many occasions and for many reasons--everything from bad dreams to getting ready for princess parties.
My second thought was...That's really sweet. I remember being a little girl and getting SO excited about holidays and parties and fun days planned with friends.
Let's be honest, maybe I was also a little jealous. I lived in Buffalo's inner city when I was Amelia and Ava's age...we'll just say the girls I went to school with weren't having princess parties...I actually don't remember going to a birthday party until I was well into elementary school. But that could be, in part, also a testament to how times have changed.
All that aside, I do remember being excited for Easter, and Christmas, for trips to the beach, or the zoo with a friend. I also remember waking up early, because my excitement was so real it seemed to be bubbling in my belly like bottle of shaken soda.
Ava, as a matter of fact, must have been pretty excited too. She didn't say anything about it, but when she came downstairs at 8:05 she already had her princess dress on. She is usually not very quick to change out of her pajamas in the morning...at least not on school days!
And so I took these two sweet girls to their royal party. Amelia had slept with her hair in braids and was incredibly proud of the "curls" it had created. I had braided Ava's hair in two side braids-- the first time she EVER sat still long enough for me to braid her hair.
Their white tights peeked out beneath the tulle of their dresses, and they asked questions about when Rapunzel would be arriving at the party and how she was getting there all the way from Florida ("Rapunzel" was coming to read a story, play some games and dance with the girls!).
It was a sweet party. Some of the girls completely and unabashedly believed that Rapunzel had flown (or drove, or walked-- the only thing that mattered was that she was here in Buffalo!) ALL the way from Florida (that is after all where princesses live in the U.S.) to see them. Others, the skeptical ones, like Amelia and Ava asked whether I thought "Rapunzel" was just dressed up (to be fair, I happen to know "Rapunzel" as does Ava, so when she eventually recognized her as "Meaghan's mom" she had the whole thing figured out).
But mostly, they ran around in their dresses, ate pink cake, and were giddy about getting their picture taken with a princess.
There were two older girls at the party...the birthday girls cousin and her cousin's friend, both around 10.
Guess what? By 10, some of the magic is gone.
They were cute...and sweet...and both dressed up...but you could see the skepticism in their eyes. They did do what 10 year olds do well with little girls...played and gave them all piggy back rides around the house!
And so, life lesson learned? Reminder to be had?
Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy.
Our little one's DO grow up fast, despite my not wanting to believe that four years ago when Ava could hardly walk or talk. The magic doesn't last for ever. And as silly as all of the parties and dresses and getting up early can seem to us...it's BIG stuff to them. Let it be big and jump in full heartedly.
They deserve it and you'll be more youthful for it (: