A letter to my four and a half year old daughter:
My dear little girl,
I would like to start off this letter to you with an apology. I’m sorry we weren’t able to stay at Disneyland longer on our last trip. It broke my heart to see the tears rolling down your face as we headed toward our car to make the long trip home. To hear you pleading, “Pleeeaaaase can we go back and ride Pooh Bear?” Well, I wish I could have done that, but, alas, work beckoned for me the next morning and we had to go. As sad as I was to see your tears and hear your cries, I understood why – and it makes me smile a little.
We’re raising someone who has as deep a love for all things Disney as her mother and father do.
I think this trip I noticed even more than usual how much that love has grown. Watching you interact with characters, talking to them as if you were old friends… well, in a sense you are. Mickey and Minnie have been a part of your life from the beginning, as have so many others. To hear you say hi to Mickey and Walt as we pass the Partners statue warms my heart; at such a young age, you already know who Walt was, and what he meant to the company you’ve grown to love. Watching as you noticed areas of the park that could use touching up made me giggle. You really care about its upkeep!
I could tell you touched others as well. Mary Poppins couldn’t believe you were only four based on what you knew and said. Cast members enjoyed conversations with you. Rapunzel was an eager student as you patiently taught her to dance. And the memory of the two of you skipping down the walkway is a memory I’m sure we’ll all cherish for a lifetime.
It’s not just at the park I’ve noticed this love, though. At home, your go-to games are usually Disney-tinged ones. You love playing with your princess dolls. You ask for me to make up stories for you – “But make sure you use Disney characters I already know,” you remind me. When we read stories, 9 times out of ten, it’s a Disney book. Your first words besides “mama” and “dada” were “Donald Duck!”
I know that you haven’t had much of a choice; being given parents such as your mother and I, you were bound to be inundated with an appreciation for the mouse. However, I believe that God gave us someone who wouldn’t mind that fact too much. Instead of just accepting it, you embrace it wholeheartedly.
As you continue to grow, I pray for so much for you in your life. For wisdom, strength, faith and courage. I also pray that the magic never leaves you. That your face lights up at the sight of a castle. That you always remember your friends at Disneyland and never truly be ready to leave. That you sing about wishing upon stars and dance with a smile and a song.
And that you’ll never be too old to skip down the street.