09 September 2011

If our home is our castle...


...then let's see where the princess lives.

Let me premise this posting by saying that I'm not into the typical "Princess" mentality as currently defined by our contemporary culture. Too often, being a "Princess" means one or more of the following:

"It's all about me". A huge NO-NO in my book. A TRUE princess puts others feelings and well being before her own.

"I always get my way." This isn't being a princess - this is creating a selfish person! The child who is allowed to "pimp her cuteness" to gain what she wants is the victim of a grave injustice by her parents. What a recipe for disaster! And heaven help the parents and the next door neighbors when this kid becomes a teenager.

"I'm better than you - or at least my mommy wants you to think so which means I'll think it too". A true princess knows humility and doesn't brag about what she has or does or where she goes. Self confidence is a totally different fish than self importance. Huge difference.

"I get special treatment". Again, nope. A true princess doesn't expect others to "part the waters" for her but works to get what she wants and seeks fairness whenever, wherever she can. And learns to say "Please", "Thank you", "May I.." and wants to help.

Ben, Mirai, Kennedy and Lleyton

Having said that, I do believe that children who are being trained to emulate the correct values being taught by their parents are true princes and princesses. The idea that children INHERIT something of great value by those who raise them equates to being "royalty" in that wisdom, graciousness and good manners are true family treasures to be "passed down" from one generation to the next.

Mirai is our "resident" princess. She loves to play being Princess Aurora following her Bibbity Bobbity Boutique experience at Disneyland. And she loves her books of princess stories. We've created a "Royal Bedchamber" for her where she feels cocooned and "at home". Her treasures are displayed on her note boards - notes from friends, party invitations, pieces of artwork that are "firsts" (first face drawn, first face with body, first face with eyelashes and nose - you get the picture - pardon the pun) and even several tail feathers from a macaw owned by a friend of ours.

Lleyton, Kennedy, Emery, Ben and Mirai

There is a reading corner with a big reading chair with good lighting behind it - we use that chair every single night we're home to read, first, the Bible and then story books. The bookcases hold more books than toys. And her stuffed animals are replicas of her reading favorites - Knuffle Bunny (from the Mo Willems books), Winnie-the-Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood gang (A.A. Milne of course), Timmy (from the Shaun the Sheep series; okay, technically this is a show but Timmy is loved none-the-less) to name but a few.

Emery and her mama, Jennifer

Jennifer and Emery

Lleyton and Mirai


There is a mini-princess sized dressing table that Santa brought last year where she keeps her Little Kitty bangles and bracelets, her Super Power pink cape and mask and her brush and comb. A big fishbowl is the perfect holder for her hair bows - we can "fish around" to find the one we need without the bows getting flattened or wrinkles. We like our big bows and Mirai won't leave home without one. Think of it as the pre-school version of lipstick.

Emery admiring how Mommy did her hair

Her room is cozy enough for just her but large enough to accommodate cousins when they visit. This was borne out when we had Cousin's Week last month. All six of the grandchildren were "in residence" (no, we didn't fly our Royal Standard from the chimney to let everyone know) and Kennedy (6) shared Mirai's room with her. But during the waking hours, all six of them would be in her room playing, reading, pestering each other, plotting and having a good old time. When Emery (1) is old enough, she will also share Mirai's room during visits. The boys (Ben - 6, Luke - 4 and Lleyton - 4) all stay in the game room which is the next room and also the official "Playroom". That room contains a bunk bed as well as two love-seats that make out into twin beds. Plus the bulk of the toys!

Mirai and Lleyton having Tea with their friends

While some of the items in her room were bought recently (the chair and dresser), most of the furniture is several years old and was used in other rooms before they came to live in Mirai's room. The sage green toybox was bought years ago when I found out I was going to be a grandmother for the first time. The lamps on the dressing table were in a condo we owned in the DFW area for a "Texas base" when we lived overseas and visited home. Winnie-the-Pooh and all his friends were a collection I started when we lived in the UK. But all in all, the room was designed to grow with her to adulthood and I bought pieces I felt would stand the test of time. One thing I've learned living all over the world and making numerous moves: buy classic, buy quality and it will work anywhere with minor "tweaking".

All our granddaughters are princesses in the best possible way, being raised to be kind, responsible and accountable. And all our grandsons are Brave Knights, being raised to be gallant, honest and true. I'm very honored to be the Queen Mother of this lovely family of "Great People in Training"!

Mirai - a happy girl!

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