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Princesses and Love

April 30, 2013

Dear Nola,

Lala and I took you to see Disney on Ice “Dare to Dream” on Sunday.  You really liked it.  You were amazed by the costumes, lights, ice skating (though I’m not really sure you understand what ice skating is), music and of course, the towers of cotton candy (for only $12 a bag!).  You and the other little girls in your princess dresses were absolutely precious.  You were sparkly and bouncy and all of the wonderful things that a little girl likes to be.

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First was the story of Princess Tiana – my favorite of the show.  Tiana is a gutsy girl who has a dream of owning her own New Orleans restaurant.  She works hard to make her dream come true and just happens to find love in the form of a prince who was turned into a frog by a voodoo shadow man.  The music is a wonderful jazz and zydeco mix and the story of accepting who you are and loving who you are is great.  I especially like the song, “Dig a Little Deeper”, with the lyric, “Dig down deep inside yourself, You’ll find out what you need.”

After Tiana became a princess and rode off into the sunset with Prince Naveen, it was time for Cinderella – the quintessential Disney princess.  She’s the one with the evil stepmother and stepsisters.  She’s the one whose dress was made by mice.  She’s the one who got a horse-drawn carriage bibbity-bobbity-booed from a pumpkin.  When she finally got to the royal ball, Prince Charming fell madly in love with her.  They waltzed around singing, “So, This is Love” until the clock struck midnight and she ran away.  Well, the dingbat lost her shoe (which somehow didn’t disappear at midnight like everything else did).  The prince came looking for her and lo-and-behold, she had the other shoe stashed away.  Cue music and big wedding, then happily ever after.  The Disney website describes her as “kind to all… She has faith that if you keep on believing, your wish will come true. With help from her fairy godmother, she gets a chance to live her dreams.”  I am so glad that Cinderella is kind to all.  That’s a great thing to be and something that I hope you will strive for.  What I need for you to know, though, is that there are no fairy godmothers to make your dreams come true and just believing in your wish won’t make it real.  If you want your dreams to come true, you have to make them come true.  I don’t think I’m bursting your bubble by telling you this.  You live in our house, so independence shouldn’t come as a shock to you.

After Cinderella, we got to the story of Rapunzel.  I kind of like Rapunzel.  She’s spunky with her lizard friend and her frying pan. Plus, she’s the only one I know of who actually is royalty by birthright and not because some prince came along and picked her to be his princess.  If it weren’t for the whole “rescued from a tower by a strange man” scenario, I’d be all about Rapunzel.  I just wish she would’ve escaped from the tower on her own and then found her man, but that’s just not the way the story goes.  I’m really glad that Disney is making their “princesses” more modern and more like real girls (except for the crazy long hair, the giant eyes and the unrealistic figure).

Since before you were born, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with princesses.  I debated about taking you to this particular show, but decided to take you because I knew you would love it and I wanted to share that experience with you.  Now that it’s over, I have to share a few thoughts…

I see so many little girls in their “I’m the princess, that’s why” t-shirts and they have the entitled attitude to go right along with it.  I really hope that you won’t be one of those little girls.  I hope that you’ll be the girl who thinks princesses are beautiful, but knows that real girls ride bikes and sometimes horses, not horse-drawn carriages.  I hope that you’ll be the girl who loves twirly dresses, but feels just as beautiful in jeans and a t-shirt.  I hope that you’ll be the girl who knows that fancy parties and tiaras are fun, but so are football games and ballcaps.  I hope you’ll be the girl who enjoys nice things but knows that they aren’t gifts from Fairy Godmothers, but come as a result of education, hard work and smart decisions.  I hope that you’ll be the girl who dreams big but knows that wishing on a star doesn’t make your dreams come true.    Most of all, I hope that you’ll be the girl who finds her Prince Charming but knows that the only men you can ever count on to save you are Jesus and your Daddy.

I am not writing this to you to steal the joy of playing pretend.  I would never take away the magic and fun of the stories, the tea parties, the dancing, or the fairytales.  Cinderella and Prince Charming sang, “So, This is Love…”  I want you to know what love really is:

Love is not a prince on a white horse.  Love is a guy who takes you to the doctor when you’re too sick to drive and then makes sure you have orange juice and tylenol until the flu is over.

Love is not a lavish wedding with doves and ballgowns.  Love is being surrounded by your family and friends as you make promises to another person to love and cherish and protect each other forever – and then keeping those promises.

Love is not a boy who likes you because you’re “hot”.  Love is a man who likes you even when you’re not.

Love is not a physical relationship.  Love is an emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical relationship that is built on trust, fidelity, equality, and faith.

Love is not about a tiny waist or a tiara.  Love is about knowing who you are on the inside, where you come from and what you believe in.  You have to love yourself before you understand what love is.

Love does not happen in an instant.  Love happens when you realize that you can’t imagine your life without him.  Love happens when you hold your baby for the first time and know that he or she is the greatest gift God will ever give to you.  Love happens when you see the man you’ve devoted yourself to holding that baby with tears in his eyes.  Love happens when you’re watching that baby take her first steps, when you let go of his hand on the first day of school, when you fall to your knees praying that the fever will break, and when you hear him say a prayer to God that is so simple and heartfelt it can only come from the soul.

 

Love is what I have for you, sweet girl.  You are a beautiful princess in purple, a child of God, a strong-willed girl full of sugar and an extra dash of spice, a blessing, and a joy.  Love is what I hope for you, what I wish for you, and what I pray for you.

My heart is yours,

Mama

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jan permalink
    May 2, 2013 1:04 AM

    Incredible tribute to your daughter and such wise advice. This is awesome Haley!

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