|Abby meeting Cinderella.|
This year the main event in going to Disney was Abby’s “Princess Dinner”. Anne schedules it many months in advance. The reservations are often hard to make since so many people want their little princess to meet the ‘real’ Disney princesses.
Anne is able to get reduced ticket costs since our family is Disney Vacation Club members which makes it much more affordable. Such organizations such as “Make A Wish” foundation also schedule events such as this for children that have serious or terminal illnesses as well.
|Getting to meet Pluto as a family.|
During the supper hour various princesses come to the tables and visit with each of the children seated there. As I looked around I could see many of the little girls who had their princess dresses on and were very excited about meeting their princess hero. Abby would be mesmerized by each approaching princess, and sometime she would have an unexpected princess visitor come from behind her. During these times her eyes would become as big as saucers and we could see the reserved nature that Abby had, dissolve into breathless anticipation as that particular princess would address her personally. Abby would get up slowly, pull her skirt out on both sides, and bow her head and curtsy. Some of the princess’ would be surprised by such a show of respect and honor towards them, but to Abby she wanted to venerate them for whom she knew them to be, her heroes. It would not be uncommon at this point for the princess to bow in return to Abby. Then the princess would kneel down to Abby’s level and speak softly to her. The rest of us would strain our ears to hear what was being said, but realize our efforts were in vain. We would then collectively smile and confess to ourselves that this moment was for Abby and not us.
|Abby meeting a new friend on the Disney bus.|
In digressing, I remember reading once of a family who were about to pray before a holiday meal. The honor fell to the little girl in the family. She shyly prayed in a low tone and when the little girl was done she ended by saying proudly “Amen!”
The grandfather retorted in frustration after the prayer, “You could have spoken louder, I couldn’t hear a word you said!” The little girl visibly shrank in her chair after the grandfather’s remonstration. Just then the little girl’s father spoke up with a gentle smile on his face, “Don’t worry dad, the person she was speaking to heard her fine.”
Towards the end of the princess meal Abby spoke up and said with disappointment, “I forgot to give the princess’ the drawings I did for them.” We tried to console her, but before we could speak again, Abby left the table and walked over to another table close by. We collectively watched with puzzled looks on our faces. Abby started to speak with a little girl who did not have a princess dress. I noticed at that time the little girl did not have a mother with her, just her gentle father. The little girl’s dad watched with a puzzled look at the conversation between the two little girls. They both then dropped to the floor and had a long discussion between them. We couldn't hear their conversation, but we could see the smiles on their faces. I looked over to the little girl’s father; he had a smile that went from ear to ear. His little girl was having the time of her life. Just then I glanced down at the girls and I could see they were not looking for princesses anymore, they were enjoying each other’s presence. Next, I saw Abby take her pictures and give them to the little girl. The little girl’s face just beamed with joy. I then looked over to the father and he was so happy. I could see that his whole world was at peace and filled with joy. His little precious daughter was so happy and that made him know a completeness that was so visible on his smiling face.
As we were leaving the father spoke to us as we were passing by, “Your daughter truly is a princess!” I could see that he was approaching tears and it choked me up so that it was hard for me to speak. Anne seeing my state of emotion thanked him for allowing his little girl time to play with Abby. I realized after leaving the meal that my little girl was teaching me about kindness, selflessness, and generosity. I too was a father who was very appreciative of the precious gift of a little heart God has placed in my presence, my little Abby.