[NOTE: I apologize for all the technical difficulties this week! Thank you to all who have commented! We should be back on track now….. As Grover Monster says, “Where there’s life, there’s hope!”]
A Princess Tale
Once upon a time, there was a princess. Not a beautiful princess. Not a rich princess. Not a particularly talented princess. Just a plain ol’ ordinary princess. She ate too much sugar and pizza, exercised her brain more than her body, and seldom had really good hair days.
The princess traveled a lot and too often forgot to contact her Daddy, the King. She knew he was there in the castle, taking care of important stuff, and was content to know that. She knew that as soon as she contacted him, he’d be right there to talk to her. He never put her on hold or had someone else answer. She had never, ever, gotten his voice mail. She had a special direct line and got straight through to him each time. Maybe it was his availability that made her relax so much about contacting him….. Maybe she was just too lazy. She was a very imperfect princess.
One day the princess was heading home after a particulary difficult travel. The way had been more bumpy than she had anticipated and she’d been terribly jostled which tired her muscles and bruised her skin. Some people along the way had been uncaring and hurtful which left her feelings bruised. She had known this would be a trying and somewhat difficult trip, but it was more stressful than she had imagined it would be.
Finally, though, she was heading home. She thought about her daddy, the King. Had she contacted him at all through this trip? Although she had trouble remembering specifics, she vaguely remembered calling home. She had thought about him a lot and knew he was thinking of her. But as she got closer, she began to fret. What if this time he was really offended? What if he finally got tired of waiting? What if this time he let her call go to voice mail? The princess worried.
Finally, she made a vow to herself. From now on, she would make contacting her father a top priority. She knew beyond any doubt that had she contacted him during her travels, the problems would have been so much easier to bear. She had survived, but it would have been so much better with his counsel and support, and just hearing his voice. That was it – from now on, she was going to have Daddy on speed dial. And she was going to tell him that right away, so if he was as unhappy with her as she thought he would be, perhaps that would assuage him.
When she finally called, clearing her throat nervously, her father answered the phone on the first ring. “I’m right here,” he announced. “Come right in!”
Surprised, the princess did what nobody else would dare to do — she walked directly into the throne room and up to the King, talking as she went.
“I know I haven’t been in touch much. I’m really sorry about that. I had some tough times and I got pretty busy. But I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I did pretty well.”
As she got closer, she could see he was smiling. It was a very loving smile. He was happy to see her! She relaxed a little and gave him a quick hug.
“It was hard,” she said, trusting him to be concerned. “I got hurt, but I persevered!” She smiled at him, looking for his outrage at her injuries and his pride at her survival. She saw neither. Instead, he was smiling knowingly, his eyes kind.
“You knew?” she said, puzzled.
He nodded. “Yes. I took care of much of it. I could have done more if I had been able to contact you, but I knew what was happening and I made it as easy on you as I could.”
The princess frowned. “You…. So I didn’t do it on my own?”
The King reached out and stroked her cheek. “You did too much of it on your own. You were operating in the kingdom on your own power when you had the resources of the throne behind you.”
The princess looked closely at her father. His eyes betrayed all his feelings — his love for her emanated off of him in almost tangible waves. He thought she was beautiful. And not just beautiful — the MOST beautiful.
Tears came to the princess’s eyes. “I’m sorry,” she said, her head drooping. “I always seem to forget.”
“That’s okay,” he said gently, reaching forward and scooping her into his arms, pulling her up onto his lap as if she were an infant, “I never forget.”
Then the King kissed each bruise and stroked her hair and rocked her, singing gently over her until all the pain went away.
The princess realized that her imperfection was just something in her own head. She was loved and perfect and beautiful. She smiled and snuggled into her daddy’s chest, falling into a contented sleep safe in the arms of the King.