If you follow me on social media, you would have seen a post recently about my Saturday dates with Teagan. Since being back from the hospital with the twins’ treatment, I’ve made a point to spend extra quality time with her. We usually go shopping for groceries, sometimes to get breakfast and a coffee, other times on a walk or a run. Whatever it is, Saturday mornings are Teagan and mommy time. It’s usually pretty low-key, until this last weekend when we attended a Disney Princess Ball.
In the last 6 months or so, Teagan has really started getting into Disney and the princesses. I secretly love that she likes the classics like Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella more than Frozen (don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of Frozen fan-girling going on in our house) but I just enjoy that she is well rounded in her princess obsession. About 2 weeks ago I started talking about the Princess Ball that we would be going to. I wanted to keep it a secret at first, but I realized that I would need to get her a new dress and it was also suggested we don’t keep it a surprise because that tends to upset children sometimes and I wanted her to have the BEST time, so we didn’t risk it.
She decided she wanted to dress up as Belle which was a pleasant change for me. She was Elsa for Halloween last year and she’s been wearing that costume around every day. Every. Single. day. Since then. Don’t get me wrong, I love Frozen, but seeing Teags all dressed up as Belle – melt my heart.
Saturday morning Teagan JUMPED out of bed announcing that she was “Ready for the ball!!” And that she was “Hoping to see a Prince” which didn’t please her father too much. She got all dressed up, complete with her golden ballet flats and crown and we were off.
On the car ride there, which was about 40 minutes, we of course had to listen to the Frozen CD. She kept asking me where the “Castle” was and if it was going to be a purple one. We arrived a bit early – bad planning on my part – so I was stuck with her asking every 37 seconds as we waited in the hall “Where are the Princesses Mommy? I’m ready for the ball.”
In our group of kids there were about 80 children. It was great because it wasn’t too busy or crowded and I have to say the kids were so well behaved. I was very impressed with the event.
When the doors opened we were ushered inside where all the kiddos went out on to the dance floor and the parents were asked to take a big step back. I was a little nervous because in the past Teagan hasn’t done the best with characters like Dora. So I was afraid she would be scared of the Princesses. Tinkerbell was up front with a microphone and Teagan walked right up to the dance floor and sat down with all the other girls. Soon each Princess was announced and the littles squealed with excitement. I didn’t take my eyes off Teagan as she watched in amazement that her favorites were all there to play. Before I knew it, I was crying.
I found myself sitting there, so happy with watching how happy she was, that I couldn’t get a grip! The last year has been hellish. I’m just going to say it. No use in sugar coating it, it’s been rough for our family. And often in that I feel like Teagan gets lost in the shuffle. I was on bedrest because of the twins, I was away when the twins were in the NICU, I was away when the twins had cancer treatment. The twins get A LOT of attention because 1. They are twins and 2. They have cancer and 3. Twins are a lot of work. Period! So I often find myself wide awake at 3 am wondering if I’m giving enough of myself to Teagan. If she knows how much I love her. Do I tell her that enough? Do I show her that enough? Does she resent me? Does she resent the twins?
While I was sitting there watching her face light up with PURE JOY seeing all her Disney favorites, I was overcome with emotion. She has been through hell and look how happy she was. So full of joy. Before I knew it the tears were falling down my face. I was silently crying, while smiling, watching my little girl. I can’t even explain it and even now writing about it I get all choked up. It’s so cliché to say, but it really was magical.
After the introductions, there was a dancing game and not to toot my own horn or anything but, my girl is a dancing queen! The dance floor was going on throughout the whole ball but there were stations set up throughout as well as photo opportunities with all the Princesses. We made our way over to the candy table (my girl loves her candy!) Where Jasmine was waiting for us.
Belle was hanging out reading stories. We didn’t stay by her very long, but long enough for mom to snag a quick photo.
We then headed over to the Anna and Elsa photo line which was VERY long. Snow White and Cinderella were strategically placed here for photos to help break up the line.
But most of the time while we waited in line, Teagan went out to the dance floor while I held our spot. There she danced with Ariel.
And Sofia The First and Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)
I waited in line for about 40 minutes and the whole time Teagan was dancing (Don’t worry I could always see her – like I said this was a pretty small event). She would turn and wave to me sometimes, other times find a new friend and dance with, and sometimes she would just be movin’ and grovin’ all on her own. I was so impressed by how not scared she was. She was loving it!
FINALLY it was time for us to get our photo taken with Anna and Elsa.
You guys, I cried AGAIN here! She walked up to them and they talked to her about her pretty dress and told her she was “bootiful” (what she told me) gave her a huge hug, and then posed for a photo.
Teagan was on cloud 9 after that. I asked if she was ready to leave as we had been there for nearly 2 hours at this time, but she said she still needed a photo with Rapunzel. We walked around and found her and snapped this sassy shot.
Teags was ready to go. She waved goodbye to all her friends, grabbed a drink of water and we headed out. We stopped for a little rest on the chairs in the lobby where she told me “Mommy I had the BEST time at the ball!!” to which I teared up again (get it together, Abby!) We took a quick selfie and headed out.
These are the moments I want to remember forever. These are the memories I want her to have. That I want to have. These moments that even now while writing this get me all teary eyed remembering how happy she was. How happy she IS despite everything that’s happened. That’s the great thing about children. They are so resilient. They teach us to see the joy in everything. I read a quote once that said children are so happy because they don’t have a file in their head of all the things that COULD go wrong. And isn’t that the truth.
Every night before bed I cuddle with Teagan for about 5 minutes and I ask her to tell me about her day. Last night I climbed in and she said to me “mommy let’s talk”. I asked her what she wanted to talk about today and she said “Remember when I was a bootiful princess and went to the ball?! That was the best day ever Mommy.” It sure was one of the best days, goose. It sure was.
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