Monday, March 31, 2008

A Cinderella Story

Baby blankets are useful for all kinds of things. In the beginning, there are a variety of them, all sharing the same job- swaddling and warmth. Then, over the months, less and less of them are used, and by the time our girls have reached one candle on their birthday cake something happens. Out of the few remaining blankets, one emerges supreme and becomes THE blanket. It will now be used more for security and play times than swaddling and catching random spit up. It will be present for countless tea parties, story times, wild adventures and of course will be absolutely crucial at nap and bed times. It can be used for a variety of props, including, but not limited to: use as a bridal veil, a dog leash, a table cloth, a blanket for their own "babies", draped over the head it can be used to give the illusion of very long hair, oh, and my favorite- wrapped around the body it makes a beautiful princess gown.

I cannot tell you how many times I've seen those tattered and worn blankets and had a bittersweet moment, remembering swaddling their little tiny bodies in those blankets in their first months of life, and now seeing a "big" little girl using it for anything her little imagination can invent- and still sweetly snuggling it for security in times of distress and clutching them tightly as they sleep.

And now for something you will think is completely different,

Steven Curtis Chapman has a horrible song on the radio right now. OK, it's not horrible. It's wonderful, and poignant, and every parent with a little girl switches the station when it comes on so they are not subjected to a three minute session of tears...unless of course they aren't driving on their way to anywhere important, then they go ahead and listen and let the tears fall- since they aren't worried about looking all red and puffy when they reach their destination. Listening to it does, in fact, lead to an ugly cry.

No one ever writes songs about little boys growing up too fast and leaving. It's just supposed to happen. We seem to accept that well. I feel pretty OK about it with my own son. But little girls- OH, we have songs about those. Nearly every wedding has one- Butterfly Kisses, anyone? And so it goes...

"So I will dance with Cinderella while she is here in my arms

'Cause I know something the prince never knew

Oh, I will dance with Cinderella, I don't want to miss even one song

'Cause all to soon the clock will strike midnight and she'll be gone"

In case you don't already know, we have three little Cinderellas in this house. This song isn't just sweet to us, it's precious and a little gut-wrenching.

And now I'll tell you a short story. This happened weeks ago when this song was new. When I told Jim the story I said, "You know that new Steven Curtis Chapman song?" Before I'd finished my sentence, he gave me an emphatic, knowing look that said he knew exactly the one and felt the same way. Then I told him about how I'd been cooking in the kitchen and that song had been playing- it was about half-through. That means I was one minute, thirty seconds in to my best attempts to not burst into tears. Miss Patience Isobel twirled into the room, beloved baby blanket wrapped around her three-year frame into a lovely, flowing gown. She announced, "Mommy! I'm a beautiful princess!" as she ran her fingers over her "dress" and then, in an instant, continued twirling right out of the kitchen as fast as she came.

Oh, stab my heart sweetly.


Ris said...

That is SUCH a sweet story! I have not heard that song, but will have to check it out! Enjoy your beautiful princesses! Better go get mine...I hear her waking up. :-)

Kimberly said...

We have a special blankie too. But I must say, I haven't gotten to that place just yet where I am ready to let my son go.

Love your posts, they are so sweet, always.

Kimberly said...

We have a special blankie too. But I must say, I haven't gotten to that place just yet where I am ready to let my son go.

Love your posts, they are so sweet, always.

Andrea@Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I can hardly even let my mind go so far as to think about weddings and good-bye. It's too hard... I know those days will come, and I will be happy for my kids taking those big steps, but I sure am going to miss them!


Lisa said...

My Goosey has "Lovey" that she loves about as much as she loves me, and that's saying a lot. Crazy how I used to put it with her just because it was cute when she was a newborn, and now I would have to save it if our house was burning down....

I must download that song you were talking about. I can feel the tears welling up right now :)