A long ringlet of blonde curlicues spirals down the shoulder of my three year old. “I have blue eyes and blonde hair” she announces proudly to anyone who asks, or doesn’t ask. She not only has blonde hair and blue eyes but her hair is curlier than I ever could have imagined and her sister’s is just like it. She has tight brown curls instead of gold ringlets. My very own “Elsa” and “Anna” daughters in the flesh.
They really are the impersonation of those Frozen characters, a movie which they love anyway. Heather is like Elsa with her independent spirit, her feisty I-will-do-it-myself attitude, her sisterly concern for Stella coupled with her “back off Stella” moments. Stella is like Anna with her optimistic and cheerful view on life and her desire to be close to her sister even if her sister wants nothing to do with her at the moment. I would guess that either of them would sacrifice themselves for the other if needed. They are naturally both princesses, both in their multiple and mighty demands each day and in their sweet fascination with all the pretty and romantic things in life. Designing a princess bedroom for them was really just happenstance because it seemed like a cute idea at the time, and from there, their love for princess style has really taken off, and my love for it has taken off with them.
Now, whether it be princess figures or Disney movies or frozen Halloween costumes, the entire family has embraced the fairy tale world, even Daddy enjoys watching Beauty and the Beast or Thumbelina now and then. He often reminds the girls how pretty they are and plays along with their tiaras and twirling skirts. After all, they are Daddy’s’ little princesses and he is their prince! I did not grow up with have much exposure to Disney or princesses stuff and I did not really have that vision in mind when raising girls of my own, but I have come to love the concept and all the frilly glitter, wedding make-believe and magical music that comes with it.
It’s really amazing what God gives you without you even asking him directly. I always joked that I was marrying my husband for his blue eyes and curly hair so that I could have kids with those features, but I never really expected it to happen to such an intense degree. I always thought it would be fun to have little girls that I could do girly things with and to have the tools to teach them that they are princesses in God’s kingdom, but I never anticipated that I would be given just that. I mean my 20 month old loves to have her nails painted and sits still for it! God knows how to take a hint and satisfy the desires of our heart from the big things to the little things!
As a result, I have a houseful of princess stuff that can be the perfect tool to instill in my fairy tale loving daughters the beauty of their femininity and their role as the princesses of the King. I can teach them that marriage should only be between one man and one woman, no matter what the world says. (Heather’s favorite line when she is playing make-believe is “She’s going to marry the prince.”) I can teach them that if they want to be true princesses they must be gracious and kind to everyone like Cinderella or Snow White, womanly and beautiful in their actions like Rapunzel or Anna, selfless and strong like Meredith or Belle. Through their encounter with fairy tales, they can catch a glimpse of what qualities they should look for in a husband or how to be aware of the battle of good versus evil in the world.
I am not trying to say that Disney fairy tales are my go-to for teaching my children about life and true femininity, but I think there are certainly teachable moments in their play that can be used as a tool to enhance their understanding of being God’s princesses and living accordingly. My hope, if anything, is that as my daughters grow, to take these princess impressions and fairy tale fantasies and utilize them to illustrate the value and beauty of being a true princess in the family of the Heavenly King. I hope to teach them what Philippians 4:8 says “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Princess Heather, Princess Stella, may you always walk the path that leads to the castle of Heaven.
How do you encourage faith and values through your children’s play?