Last weekend...the Night of all Nights arrived again for our Princesses. The annual Daddy Daughter Princess Ball (in honor of Valentine’s Day) is a smashing success around here. It gets talked about all year long. And I think the self-esteem boosting memories will stick around even longer (and hopefully out-weigh a few of the amateur dating experiences that inevitably wait on the horizon...)
The day-of is full of bubbling anticipation and preparation.
Oh how the girls grin from ear to ear when the doorbell rings and their date, with fake flowers in hand (that are recycled every year), politely whisks them away for a night of adventure, romance, cookies, princess crowns, balloon dogs, and dancing.
Such great training these girls are getting on how to be treated by a perfect gentleman.
(I also love that the boys, though pretending not to show too much interest of course, pay close enough attention to gain valuable future dating skills as well. And I love that they brag about hangin’ out with mom to bake brownies and watch an adventure movie...I’m sure that won’t last too many years longer. *sniffle*)
I’m continually amazed and in awe of how magical a night out dancing with Daddy can be...but then again, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised...my heart leaps when I get to spend an evening with this handsome guy, too.
(I'm going to dig out all these pictures when one of our angels flings herself onto her bed and buries her head in her pillow some day after some boy breaks her heart..."Don't worry, Honey. Daddy loves you!" #feelingnaivelyreadyforthedatingyearsnow#)
Fast forward a few days: On a holiday intended to celebrate the expression of love for one another, I felt determined to set aside at least a few minutes for gathering together and doing just that. We’ve noticed that when Brent and I openly and comfortably share our thoughts and feelings, our young children so freely and naturally reciprocate. The older ones, though slightly more inhibited in the self-expression process (a sign of brain growth ;), still glow on the inside just as much as the little ones bounce around the room and burst into spontaneous hugs...so it’s a worthwhile few minutes.
For ten minutes, we scribbled on and stuffed little strips of paper into 10-for-a-dollar plastic hearts that said, 4ever, UR GR8, and luv U, etc. Then for interested parties, hearts were hidden and rounds of ‘Hot ‘n Cold’ commenced.
There are so many connections to make in this big world. Before long, each of our children will be someone else’s Valentine...pretty much for the rest of eternity. So, for now, Brent and I will soak in as many hugs and giggles and kisses and notes and texts with these cute kids as we can.
When I read Cienna’s to her, she snuggled up on my lap and we shared squeezes and giggles in between each one. I sensed this as a chance to fill her (and all the others) up with pure love and fun because let’s be honest...regular every day sibling bonding time (not to mention peer interaction) is a like a fast-paced emotional love-hate roller coaster. That's a lot for little minds to process.
Valentine's Day is a chance to add some prefrontal cortex love in the mix. ;)