Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Princess and the Frog

I was raised on a healthy diet of Disney movies and a big box of dress up items. 

Being girls, my sister and I used to parade around the house wearing a random assortment of treasures my mom found a garage sales and repurposed into costumes.  An old prom dress.  Someone's red high heels.  A turquoise, sequened dress from who the heck knows what.

We pretended to be various Disney princesses (the turquoise dress, it turns out, was perfect for playing Ariel... if you put it on as a long skirt, it was a perfect mermaid's tail!), dreaming of our someday-prince.

While Casey was gone last night and after Leah had gone to bed, I got to watch a Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog.  It was a sweet story, and I loved the "old school" animation and music - so reminiscent of the Disney movies I adored growing up. 

It was an odd thing.

One minute, I was watching this sweet story.  The next, I was crying my eyes out. 

It dawned on me that my role in the story has shifted. 

No longer am I the Princess.  No longer is the story about me finding myself, my true love and my place in the world.  I've been there, done that, and now I've been recast into a supporting role.  While I couldn't be more thrilled to yield the spotlight to my daughter, it was a little disturbing to me to watch what happened to the mother in the movie.

She was in the first scene.  She was in it for a few minutes after the daughter had grown up.  And then... ???

What happened to her?!  Where did the mother go for the remaining hour and twenty minutes of the movie?

It hit a little too close to home, reminding me that, for a few precious years, I get to be the center of my daughter's world.  Right now, and for a while, she can't do very much without me.  After that... well... I suppose I go the way mothers go when the story ceases to be about them.

So tonight, as I put Leah down for bed, I rocked her a little longer than I might have otherwise.  I kissed her forehead an extra time or two.  I felt the weight of her in my arms and delighted at the way her tiny hand rested on my chest.  I let her fall asleep and I snuggled and held her.  Because I can, and because I won't always be able to.

And I took a moment to be thankful that - at least for today - my baby is exactly that: my baby. 

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