My oldest daughter is roughly two years into a serious princess obsession. My second, barely a toddler, is following close behind.
I remember, long before meeting my children, that if I had girls they would certainly, under no circumstance be frilly princess loving divas. A decision written in stone before I had the privilege of knowing my two little girls.
And then I learned. I learned that my biggest little girl prefers the word ‘fancy’ to frilly. I learned that everyone can be fancy. Fancy is always appropriate everywhere. Better yet, fanciness is necessary three-year-old fashion. She’s instructed me in many fresh ways to see beauty. And I have it on good authority that pink is fancy. Pink holds beauty.
Many conversations have arisen over my daughter’s princess phase. But the most frequent questions asks if I’m concerned that she’s developing unhealthy fairy tale expectations.
Here’s the thing, the greatest stories have already been written and every fairy tale is a ultimately a cheap replica. The Author, our Creator, has written the most artful story, we’re still watching it play out on a small scale in our lives and in the grand narrative of the Gospel.
Would I be concerned if my little princess was obsessed with being rescued by a prince and dreaming about marriage at age three? Yes. That would certainly raise some concern.
Every fairy tale I’ve ever heard or seen has had the same basic facets as the Gospel. Let’s use the beloved Cinderella as an example.
She’s born into this bliss, some sort of title, and adoring parents with whom she’s close. It’s her very own paradise. But then death enters the scene. Her mother dies and then her paradise begins to disintegrate. Her evil Stepmother comes along with two stepsisters who abuse her, holding her captive in her own home more a slave than family. Then her father dies, and things look a bit hopeless. But then she receives and invitation to the royal ball and with it a trace of hope stirs. With help from a fairy Godmother who prepares her to meet the prince she is whisked off in grandeur. Enter the prince—her knight in shining armor. He will ultimately be her rescuer, swooping in to marry her and carry her off to a new kind of paradise as a princess in her own castle. All is restored, and justice is served.
Each princess tale seems to follow this same basic formula. And its bare bones are a bit familiar, aren’t they?
Just my small princess theory over here, but I believe no thing is wasted when we’re able glorify the Lord. If Cinderella can produce opportunity for me to teach the creation, fall, redemption and restoration of the Gospel, to turn my daughter’s gaze toward the godliness, then even a princess obsession is productive.