Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cinderella after Midnight

Journal for Christa—
We talked to Breck and Helen in Germany on Skype yesterday. Helen had gotten a new doll, which she lifted to the computer screen to show us. “Did you name her? What’s her name?” we asked. In Helen’s “nearly 3” expression, it was apparent the doll was nameless; but with a short glance at the doll, she looked back up, nodded, and stated emphatically, “Yes. Princess!” But of course, no other name would do.
Flora, too, after given a stash of hand-me-down princess dresses, has joined the craze. And even as we dined in Disney’s Castle, Joel slyly looked over at Kim and said, “Every girl, even big ones, wants to be a princess.” I suppose that’s so.
While vacationing at Disney World, Kim, being practical, had purchased Helen a Princess Belle nightgown to wear to the castle. Helen wore it to bed that night. The following morning Jay and I were preparing to take the kids over to Epcot, but Helen refused to shed the gown. So, being a granny who doesn’t choose many battles, I put on her sandals and off we headed for the bus. Helen wore her princess gown all day long. (How Kim ever got it off her that night to wash is beyond me.)
On the bus that evening, Jay held the sleeping Helen. She’d worn her gown for almost 24 straight hours. Stained from spilling Ranch dressing on herself at lunch, dotted with a few chocolate smears, and missing a rosette, Helen’s gown looked more like Cinderella after midnight.
I guess, though, most girls finally pack up their princess dresses and hand them down to a smaller girl. However, I’ve kind of felt like that princess after midnight lately.
Cinderella—standing on the curb. Her hair’s a mess; the gown smudged and torn; one foot bare; bewildered and confused. And worst of all—her mode of transportation is a fat orange pumpkin! Where is that fairy woman when you need her?
I don’t think the story tells us how Cinderella got home, but we know she did because that’s where she was when the prince arrived, toting the glass slipper.
I guess it’s good to know, while standing on the curb in the shadow of a dark and lonely castle, that you’ll find your way home—


  1. I LOVE this one. Just the right of amount "tell" and lots of show (still working on "show, don't tell the reader" myself).