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Princesses on the Run

Our local arboretum is doing its annual
spring flower show, and this year the theme is Fairy Tales. To that
end, they’ve hired several designers to bring different fairy
tale castles to life, and the results – magic play houses to
climb on – are on display now.

Saturday morning I took the girls to the arboretum to celebrate our
spring break. And since the theme is fairy tales, I let them dress
like princesses. So I had a Rapunzel and an Ariel in the car, and
the girls were beyond thrilled. I am the annoying mom who never
lets their kids run around in costume outside of the house –
not because I’m embarrassed that my kids dress up, but
because I spent my whole life in the theatre having it pounded into
me: “Do NOT eat in costume! Do NOT get them dirty!” So
the fact that Mommy let the girls out in costume was a huge

We had a fine time checking out each
exhibit, though by the time we hit the seventh one the girls were
beginning to drag. Fortunately I’d thought ahead, and our
picnic lunch was all ready and waiting for us. We searched out our
favorite picnic spot in the park and spread out on the grass.

As we ate, we contemplated the beautiful, smooth, weed-free, lush
grass around us. “Mommy,” Maddie asked, “Can I
take my shoes off?” I thought hard.


Both girls tore off their princess shoes and were soon frolicking
barefoot over the great lawn, chasing each other and screaming with
delight. We were sitting at the top of a huge hill and it
wasn’t long before the girls just had to race to the bottom.
I watched them fly away, tulle and chiffon streaming behind them,
screaming with joy, and my heart was full. A few minutes later I
saw them come trudging up the hill, and Cora had taken her Ariel
chiffon “tail” and tucked it up into her shorts, so
here came Ariel in a very startling mini-skirt.

Clearly, the gloves were off and the real fun was beginning.

The girls danced. They ran around. They rolled down the hill. Many
times. And when they finally came back, sweaty and exhausted, my
puppies collapsed contentedly on the blanket and munched their
strawberries in weary silence.

We came home soon after, and both girls spent the car ride in dead
silence, zoning out as we listened to Winnie the Pooh stories. They
crashed hard that night, but as we snuggled in bed Maddie said,
“Mommy, thanks for letting us go crazy on the grass. That was

I did it! I did something cool.


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