Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Cinderella Story

The ballet performance of Cinderella that my good friend Brendan and I attended yesterday -- to see his wife Maria Chapman dance the lead -- was a Saturday matinee. Typical for such a performance day and time, the audience was at least one-quarter composed of little girls dressed in all manner of Cinderella-like outfits, dreaming of being the fairytale girl herself.

We were blessed -- and quite entertained -- to have one such little girl sitting right in front of us. Throughout the performance, she swayed in her seat to the music and dance, quietly asked her mother a million questions and had her eyes riveted on Cinderella.

During the intermissions, we chatted briefly with her mom about how fun it was to see her daughter caught up in the magic, and to acknowledge that her daughter is destined to be "quite a handful."

As the curtain calls were wrapping up, Brendan tapped the mom on her shoulder, explained that Maria is his wife and asked, "Would your daughter like to meet Cinderella?" The answer was an emphatic "Yes!" and we hustled backstage.

At first the little girl was a bit overwhelmed, but quickly adjusted and beamed from ear to ear while posing for a photo with her fairytale idol. Could it be any sweeter than this?

When Maria went into her dressing room to change, the prop mistress brought out her tiara and asked the little girl if she'd like to wear "Cinderella's crown."

Her answer was another emphatic "Yes!" and I got this shot which is surely destined to be a lifetime memento... Perfect!

I've since corresponded with the girl's mom to share my photos and get her approval to post this story. In one of her emails she wrote:

"Thank you so much for the rare and special opportunity to meet 'the real' Cinderella. It was very exciting for both me and my daughter. I find it so interesting to see how, for a 4 yr old, the line between reality and make believe is so blurry. I'm not sure yet how much she really understands. What I do know is that she thinks that she met Cinderella and wore her crown!"

I replied that I believe her daughter is right: She did meet Cinderella and wore her crown. I think the difference "between reality and make believe" is highly over-rated. Life is about what's possible, and we have photos to prove it.

Let's all take a lesson from this: If you get a chance to meet Cinderella and wear her crown, do it and don't let anybody tell you it wasn't real. Later in life -- whenever you get the opportunity -- give young people the chance to meet their Cinderellas, too. Life really is about what's possible.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

What a great story!! Thanks for sharing that! I bet that will be a great one to draw on in the future. I will be sharing it with a few people I know who will especially appreciate the message (one who has a daughter about the age of the girl in your story).