So our day at Duke Gardens was loads of fun, and we all enjoyed time with the turtles.
My Big Helper was super excited about wearing her new white dress, however, and she couldn't stop herself from twirling and playing with it all day.
She absolutely loved watching the skirt flair out!
While I want her to know that she's beautiful - because she just is, as far as I'm concerned, but mostly because she was made by the Master, I also want her to be comfortable in her own skin. I don't want her to become so fussy that she's afraid to explore or try new things or to get dirty. Since she was the only girl in our group of boys at the Garden, this was a great chance to practice being gracious and friendly in all situations.
In the past, she's usually played with this guy's older brother. They're pretty good friends, but on this day, these two held hands and walked together all over the park.
She was a bit more interested in posing for pictures than the boys were ...
though they had their moments, too.
But even though she was into the posing and the picture-taking, ...
she also had a grand time playing in all of the fountains, ponds, and pools. The large goldfish in this one were fascinating to them all!
I was able to capture a few special things in our favorite magnolia, ...
but she was much more interested in being a monkey at this point. Since it wasn't very long ago that she wasn't willing even to think about climbing a tree, I'm proud of her for being so brave and courageous! Upon reaching the trunk, she kicked off her dressy sandals, held onto her skirt, and clambered right up. She laughed and played and had a wonderful time with her friends.
I think princesses need to be well-rounded. Though they must be modest and kind at all times, and we often think of them as being beautiful, that doesn't mean they have to be prissy, and today My Big Helper demonstrated that. Her preening proved that she enjoyed both her outfit and her surroundings, but she was kind to those around her, eagerly shared the camera lens, and didn't allow her clothing to set the tone for the day.
It seems as if somewhere along the line we women stop feeling beautiful and start feeling as if we must do certain things to be accepted. My Big Helper hasn't hasn't hit that place yet, and I hope she never does. I pray that she maintains the innocence and purity and sheer joy in God's beauty that she showed me today.