This afternoon I had the pleasure of being a part of a girls’ outing. Aub, our Princess, a dear friend, and I went to see “Cinderella” together. Cooter didn’t want to go, not because it was a Princess movie, but because he had heard about the “Frozen” short film that was to precede the main feature. He’s so over Frozen, the thought of watching that short was downright off-putting.
We gathered in the lobby and headed down the hall to the third door on the right. The previews started shortly after we arrived. And still folks came in and wound their way to find seats in a nearly packed theater. By the time “Frozen Fever” started, we were ready.
The short was actually cute and entertaining, and I can predict what Disney’s new stuffed critter item will be (spoiler alert–baby snowmen). Then Cinderella started. I watched the old and comfortably familiar story; yet I still found myself on edge, wondering what would happen. Which part would they change, and which part of the story was so sacred that it could not be touched?
I enjoyed the movie, once I employed suspension of disbelief. I think that the enthusiasm of my friend who is the mother of a son was infectious, and I was able to forget about the overall message and fall in love with the beauty and romance and magic. Our Princess was enchanted, and her eyes shone brightly all through the movie. She missed nothing.
A time or two during the movie a particular thought tried to surface, but it never quite made it.
Until the movie was over and I was sitting quietly with my thoughts.
Then it hit me.
Where were the people who knew Ella and her family? Where were her friends? Their friends? Surely there was someone who, at some point, thought to him or herself, “Hey, wonder where Ella’s been? I haven’t seen much of her since her Father passed on. I should really check in on her.”
I wondered where the people were who would feel inclined to pay their respects after his death. Bring a casserole. Drop by for a visit. Why was there no one to realize that this girl was being mistreated by the very ones to whom her care was entrusted?
Why didn’t someone notice and do something?
My friend who joined us reached out to me two weeks ago with a message: “Hey, if y’all are going to do a girls’ outing to see ‘Cinderella’ and I wouldn’t be intruding, could I join y’all?”
Absolutely. It would be our pleasure. And it was.
It was so good to see her, to sit and laugh over the hideous dresses of the stepsisters and gasp at the wickedness of some in the movie and to agree that we like to sit until the credits are pretty much over. Most of all, it was good to visit. To catch up. To share stories. To check in with each other.
The greatest gift is that she wanted to be with us, and she said so.
That right there.
How would the story have been different if Ella (Cinderella) had been able to call up a friend and say, “Hey, I would really love to spend some time with you”? Where was her tribe? Her friends? Her “biffle,” as my college girl calls her best friend?
And then the next question is begging to be asked:
Who am I supposed to be reaching out to? Whom should I be checking in with? Who has locked him or herself away, and needs a friend to help bring him/her out?
Tonight I’m thankful for my friend who reached out and made time to be with us. For seeing an age-old story with new eyes and feelings, I am grateful. In this world of busy-ness and to do lists and running here and there and yon with littles in tow, it is good to be reminded to be still. Be quiet. Listen and look. To check in with those I care about, and help those who need to be free and loosened a little from their worries and woes. To be a good friend.
Wishing you all someone who will do that for you.
Love to all.
As I was wrapping up writing this post, I saw this shared by Love Wins Ministries, folks who know how important relationships are and work hard to get them right and make a positive difference. I think this is spot on and wanted to share it with you.
Cinderella could have survived locked in the attic, but what kind of survival would that have been?
Just a thought.