Friday, September 16, 2011


We made a mad/magical/marvelous trip to Disneyland last weekend, with Nanny and Ella and Kate, to celebrate their mother's birthday. After the fireworks show, the others went ahead, and it was just Audrey and I, making our way alone through the crowded park. I was still thinking about Cinderella's Castle, which had been resplendent below great popping bursts of pink and blue and white - Tinkerbell and Dumbo each took turns shooting across the sky to songs of dreams come true, sounds of merriment and exclamations of wonder. It was just about the closest thing to heaven I've seen. And watching it with Olivia's mother made me long more than ever to go there.

Audrey walked beside me, her hand in mine, wearing Evangeline's blue satin dress - the one with the full skirt, the sweetheart neckline, and the lovely tulle roses strewn across the bodice. A gift from Uncle Ry and Aunt Carrie. With her little white sweater snug around her shoulders I noticed for the first time that she looked very much like Cinderella.

When I told her so, she said, "That's what I was trying to tell you this morning!" Apparently I hadn't been listening.

"Yes, your blue dress and your white sweater - even your yellow hair - all match Cinderella."

"My yellow hair!" It was a thought that had never occurred to her. Her hand shot up to finger her braid in astonishment and then a smile of wonderment spread out across her face. "I never noticed that before," she said, very slowly and very quietly. A sudden gasp, as though she'd seen a spider. "But! But - our eyes don't match. I have brown eyes and Cinderella's eyes are blue."

"Yes, blue. Like Daddy's."

"Like Daddy's!" Another wonderful, revelatory thought. She touched her cheek. "But our skin is matching."

"Yes, you do have the same color skin."

Audrey looked at me very solemnly. "Me and Cinderella. We really have a lot in common."

"Yes," I went on, smiling, "and do you know what else you have in common?"


"Well, you both love mice and birds. You love to talk with them and play with them."

Audrey started giggling. "Yes, we do! We do!"

"And do you know what else?" I was thinking of the little family slogan that Dutch has begun to teach the girls, reciting it whenever they begin to grouse and shrink from cleaning up one of their messes. "We're Bakers," he says. "We work hard, we work fast, and we don't mess around!" Parroting him really does help to revive their working spirits, so I told Audrey: "Cinderella is just like you because she works hard, she works fast, and whenever her stepmother gives her an order she doesn't mess around!"

More laughter, followed by a sudden seriousness, as though Audrey were considering whether or not this were true. She sighed. "Yes," she conceded, "I am learning about that."


allison said...

My first thought when I saw this photo was, "She looks SO MUCH like Heather." But you have convinced me -- she looks much more like Cinderella....

deonna said...

love this post!

saw this site and the free album download, wondered if you already had it, or would enjoy it!

grace and peace,