Halloween approaches and once more I’m guilty of going full-Disney: buying my daughter a wildly expensive costume from the folks who seem to shape what kids look like and think nowadays.
So much of what my daughter watches -- and a sizable portion of her toy chest and her wardrobe -- come from the ubiquitous Wal-Mart of children’s dreams and diversions. It’s seeped into her brain, too, where she fantasizes about pixies and princesses, and wonders whether she’ll meet a prince some day.
There’s no shortage of writing about Disney’s huge influence on kids. And, let’s face it, the company has me in its thrall as well, since I willingly buy into the corporate plan for taking over American childhood.
Having said all that, however, please allow me this: When the Little Girl tried on her glittery Princess Tiana gown the other day, she seemed transformed. She walked taller, smiled more, seemed happier. Then we added the shoes, the tiara, the clip-on earrings, and the necklace.
“I look like a princess,” she said quietly to her reflection in the mirror, when she didn’t think I could hear.
I should stop this? I should say no to this?
Sure, a homemade costume has more integrity and displays greater creativity. And next year, maybe we’ll go that way.
But my daughter feels like a princess in these clothes, the same princess she saw in the movies. I’m going to let her feel that way for as long as she wants. What’s the harm?
Life has its way of dethroning all the little princes and princesses, anyway. On Halloween night, why shouldn’t I bow before her, and invite her to trick or treat with me, able footman that I am, trembling in her majesty’s glowing presence?