Friday, March 28, 2014

Living in a Material World

Last night, I took Darling Daughter to see Disney Live at MPAC.  They were having a Sofia the First and a Jake and the Neverland Pirates show.  Darling Daughter loves Sofia the First.  I indulge that love.  I know a lot of moms are anti-princess these days, but I guess I look at princesses different.  I look at them as make-believe.  I look at them as embracing yourself and your inner beauty.  I really do think, with Sofia the First, Disney is trying to "makeover" the princesses from girls who need a knight in shining armor to someone who can be helpful, sweet, and beautiful: inside and out.  Plus, I'm all for imagination and if my kid wants to pretend to be a princess then so be it. 

Darling Daughter and I had a great time, but when we walked into the show we were assaulted by the plethora of materialistic objects for sale: dolls, purses, and spinning lighty thing-a-mabobs to name a few. 

I told Darling Daughter we would get some popcorn, so I asked the guy how much the popcorn cost and he says back to me, "Twelve dollars, but it comes with a princess crown!" TWELVE DOLLARS for popcorn!  That princess crown better be pure gold, but I can tell from where I'm standing that it's made of cheap Styrofoam.  No thank you.  Ridiculous, price gouging around parents who can't or won't say no to their kids or just want to avoid a temper tantrum and get to their seats and see a show!

I told Darling Daughter, "Sorry, no popcorn."  She commenced to whine about it for about half of the show, but I told her during her break she could pick one toy.  She picked the $18 Sofia purse, and I was okay with that because at least she can play with it at home: it's not something she's going to eat.  Still--I felt like a little bit of a sucker, like the materialistic world had won out against my own sense of judgment. But I justified it: I was having a date with my daughter, and I wanted her to have a good time and get her way, and I didn't go overboard like some of the parents: buying toys and popcorn and lighty thing-a-mabobs, possibly spending up to or over $100 on pure junk!

As we were driving home, Darling Daughter said she loves princesses.  She said she didn't know the princesses were actually real.  She drifted off to sleep.  I listened to the music on the radio, and I thought to myself: when did childhood become so much about things?  Every event, everything you go to you have to buy something else..  We live in a material world, and when you're constantly being assaulted to buy things, sometimes it's hard to say no and it sometimes makes it hard to treasure the moments that should have more meaning than the things. 

I want my daughter to enjoy the little moments.  When we were watching Sofia the First, I was enraptured by the ballet and the true skill of the dancers.  Cinderella came out to help Sofia decide what gift she should buy her friends.  At that moment, Darling Daughter's eyes lit up, and the smile on her face was so real, as one of the characters she reads about in story books came to life.  That was the moment I took home with me, the moment I'll hold onto when she's sixteen and isn't my best friend anymore.  That moment is better than anything that can be bought in the store, and I know it will last forever unlike the $12 popcorn. 

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