Tiny people dressed in crepe, lace and beaded gowns surrounded me. A few of the little girls wore tierras, and some had wands. The Rogers and Hammerstein musical rendition of Cinderella at our local theater brought out hundreds of little girls excited to participate in this moment of wonder. Throughout the evening I was captivated by both the play and the audience. In the lobby, I spotted a girlfriend of mine. She brought her daughter, grand- daughter, her girl friends and their daughters and grand-daughters. This mob of females were all dressed in some form of Princess garb; let’s just say… in our little town, it was a big thing! There were very well-behaved Princesses and Princesses with terrible tempers. At one point during the intermission my friend asked me to take a picture of her group. All smiled for the photo except the three-year-old, who refused to face the camera and jammed her tear streaked, red face in between moms’ legs so that only her lace-covered fanny showed.
At that moment, the journey of womanhood from princess to queen, began to overtake my imagination. When exactly does a naïve and idealistic young girl turn into a woman? Could it be after she discovers both the joys and disappointments of life? When does the youthful and fun-loving girl turn into a crabby Queen? C.S Lewis pondered this question too in his beloved book series the Chronicles of Narnia, his over-riding theme was that children crossed over from child to mature adult when they understood their individual value as either a Prince or Princess of a great king, God. I attempted to remember my own journey. Being number six of nine children, I felt more like part of a gaggle of geese than a princess-my siblings all constantly snapping and squawking at each other. So while I could not remember my own journey from princess to queen, I did remember vividly my own two daughters. One was a princess the other was a lion. While the princess spent hours twirling in her golden dress, the lion would hide behind the rocks in front of our house and roar at random passer byes’. Once the UPS man just tossed the package over the fence when he heard our dog barking and a lion roar, he obviously did not want to take his chances on being bit by a dog or eaten by a lion.
Certainly, these children at the play were experiencing something entirely different from the women that brought them, because being childlike is being open to a world that grownups become too adult to catch. Upon leaving the play it was my hope that these princesses take with them the individual messages they needed from which to piece together a clearer picture of their journey from princess to queen. At least, if nothing else, they should remember that when life gets tough, maintain your composure, wipe your tear-streaked face, and for heaven’s sake, don’t let your lace covered fanny show!