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Not a princess...

December 8, 2012 - Kristy MacKaben
It started with the squishy little Disney princess dolls Scott brought home from an Orlando work trip. Julie was barely 18 months old, but once she set eyes on those princesses she was smitten. Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Jasmine, Mulan---she loved every single one of them, and quickly learned to pronounce their names flawlessly. Then came the princess song videos, the princess Barbies, the dressup clothes, princess castles, tea sets and the tiny princess dolls. Taylor Swift was her favorite singer just because her songs mentioned the word "princess" two dozen times. When Julie started preschool her princess obsession was in full swing and she would rarely talk of anything else. When we asked who she played with at school she would inevitably reply "Ariel," "Jasmine" or "Aurora". Julie was 4 1/2 when we traveled to Disney Land in California, and it was a truly magical trip...simply because she believed wholeheartedly that the princesses at Disney Land were "the" princesses. Her complete awe and joy were priceless. Every Halloween she was a different princess and for each birthday the theme was always princess-related. Princesses were pretty much part of Julie's identity. Then, one day recently I came across Julie's princess dolls at the bottom of a drawer. I suddenly realized it was all over. I couldn't remember when I last saw her play with those dolls or dress up as Cinderella or beg me to play princess tea party. How many times had I engrossed myself in laundry or dusting or working, anything just to avoid playing princesses for the millionth time? Here I am with a 7 year old who would rather read or paint or play on an iPad than play princesses. I will never get those moments back and it makes my heart hurt. Sometimes having kids is like watching your life from afar. You realize time is slipping away and you just want it to freeze, but there's nothing you can do.


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