Sometimes it's easy for me to forget that Ella is still a little kid. These days she seems more like a short teenager - all legs and attitude. She's already mastered the eye roll, long sigh and drawn out "mo-om."
Yesterday I got a good reminder that she really is just six. We went to a birthday party for one of our little friends, and "Cinderella" was there. She was a good Cinderella; she had the fancy dress, glass slippers, elbow gloves, etc. Ella was absolutely entranced by her. When Cinderella was telling the kids stories, Ella was on her knees right in front of her, eyes wide open. Ella has never liked getting her face painted, but when Cinderella offered to do it, Ella was there in line with the other kids. And the highlight of the morning for her was when Cinderella gave Ella a bead necklace. After Cinderella had rolled off in her Honda (the coach must have been in the shop), Ella asked if we could invite Cinderella to her next birthday party.
That's when it really hit me - Ella didn't get at all that Cinderella was an actress our friends had hired to work at the birthday party. She thought Cinderella was REAL and that she was there like any of the other birthday guests. I am so glad that Ella bought in to the magic and pretend of the party. Kids seem to grow up quickly and so it was reassuring to see that she still believes in princesses and fairy tales - even if I don't like the messages that most of the fairy tales carry.
I told her that we might invite Cinderella for her next birthday. She usually runs through at least a dozen birthday ideas each year, so I know she won't stick with this one for long. But seeing the delight in her face yesterday makes me want to consider it.