Once upon a time there was an entire street of little princesses, dubbed Princess Road for its ratio of little princesses and their princess mothers to every other road in the land. Some of the little princesses also lived with daddies. Some with grandmothers. Some with toads. Brothers on occasion, as well.
Being so surrounded by princesses was an awfully nice thing. The little road was dotted with pink and yellow houses, windowpanes trimmed with gold and silver leaf. Mailboxes looked like replicas of castles from fairy tales, and every tree outside of every front door housed a nest of baby birds, all year round. There was never any yelling on Princess Road, except for the occasional yodel calling little ladies home for supper. Only singing and laughing could ever be heard. All in all, it was a very nice existence.
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Until one day came a storm, the biggest storm the land had seen. From the mountains in the West blew fat and sticky flurries, big and heavy as quarters, round balls of driven snow. Down upon Princess Road, glittering blankets covered trees and paths, mailboxes and carriages. Nothing could be seen beneath rolling mounds of white.
On the first day, the excitement from the arrival of all of that gloriousness sent the girls running from their houses. Fluttering along in capes, and extra crinoline for warmth, deep paths were created by stomping feet connecting each girl’s home to the next. With sleds, the princesses weren’t very princessy at all, climbing atop the highest hill, heaving bodies full force down slick, icy sheets. The screeching sounds of “weeeeee!” and “woooo!” reverberated against metal sleighs.
The girls played for hours on the hill, and when off of the slippery slope began power-throwing balls of white fluff in the direction of the squirrels. Squirrels were dirty little animals, of course, in any weather condition.
Meanwhile, the contented mothers waved to each other from front porches, smiling widely at their children despite rumors that more snow meant more days away from the things that mother princesses did when smaller princesses were at school. But the children were happily occupied, and so the mothers went about motherly tasks like polishing tiaras, sewing new ball gowns, and other such mind numbing things. Soon they’d be back to business. Back to their networking groups, and real jobs, and sanity building activities to which every mother requires for solid mental health.
By the second morning, after the first day’s snowfall had turned to ice, and then new powder had collected on top, none of the princesses had any interest in going outside again to play. The cold had intensified, so from inside the warmth of each pink and yellow house, tiny hands waved hello to friends in windows before running off to do inside-ish activities like drawing with sharp pencils, and coloring with the unbroken crayons. But by mid afternoon, when pencils were no longer sharp and crayons no longer new, drawing and coloring had lost all appeal. Dolls had been played with to the point they’d become a bore. Even books that were favorites couldn’t hold the interest of pent up, itchy little girls.
Princess mothers up and down the road tried in vain to keep their little princesses occupied. They worked hard to keep everyone busy, and happy.
On the third day of cancelled school, of icy cold outsides and messy, boring, utterly tiresome inside-ish-ness, the mothers became as grumpy as the grumpiest old toads, croaking nastily to their princesses instead of sweetly singing melodies.
Some of the mothers took to mid-day drinking, far before the acceptable hour when the sun had passed over the yard. Other mothers scrounged for candy in high up cupboards, and served the children jellybeans for lunch. The usually happy, bright, and loving children turned sour and mean, screaming orders at their mothers, kicking and scratching at siblings. Even the small dogs weren’t free from the chaos of children, stormy day three. Poor five-pound puppies were dressed in dolly clothes, and carried haphazardly over shoulders. They were chased into corners, forced into bonnets, and pushed along in baby carriages shivering in despair.
By the time the sun rose on the fourth day, just beginning to melt away the now cracked and dirty ice cover, no tiara shiny enough would have improved the princess mothers’ outlooks. The dread of another day indoors, coupled with empty iceboxes and cabinets, and children who couldn’t be pacified another second more… something needed to be done.
Rustling the birdie from outside her door, the most creative of the mothering bunch attached a small hand-written note to the bird’s tiny claw, sending the first message in a string to the neighbor mom just next door.
As the sun sets tonight
Past the darkness we’ve seen
Bring last seasons’ ball gowns
I’ll bring the matches
Upon receipt, the next birdie was rustled, and to the first note was the added phrase…
I’ll bring the wine.
And so on and so forth until every tired and desperate to get out mother had received the note, and passed it on.
When the sun finally set, the sound of crackling ice could be heard as women escaped from their houses, meeting mid-road to embrace. With enough wine and chocolate for all, they huddled under woolen blankets, toasting the next day’s thaw in a circle of divine trust.
Last seasons’ ball gowns had been tossed into the center of the ring, and when the match was lit and thrown, a shocking red-orange blot of fire climbed to the sky creating a glow upon every weary face. And like magic, made from old gowns and tired mothers’ wills, new energy was created filling the hearts and minds of those present.
Talking, laughing, and sharing stormy truths, they each went back to their pink or yellow house ready for what day four would most certainly bring.
The moral of the story is simple.
Thank God for my friends, the mothers in my circle whose honesty, integrity, and admissions to mid-day drinking made me not feel so badly about the three biscuits I scarfed down post carb loaded dinner, while listening to my ready-for-bed kids fight over whose turn it was to turn out the light.