Saturday, April 12, 2014

A princess tea party

Our son Walt with his two princesses Charlie, left, and Stella

Alert! Granny blog post ahead. 

A February visit to our Georgia tribe included an activity I had never experienced while parenting our boys.

I had the privilege of accompanying our oldest son as he delivered his daughters Charlie, 8, and Stella, 5, to a princess tea. The girly event was a fundraiser organized by Atlanta Ballet Company where the girls take ballet.

Before we departed, the girls modeled their princess attire: Stella in an all-white “snow princess” outfit, evidence of her enthusiasm for the Disney movie “Frozen,” and Charlie in an outfit appropriate for her announced status as a “college princess.”

She had raided her closet to pull together her college princess ensemble. She wore a black knit skirt, knee length in front, longer in back; a white tee topped by a short black sweater that she and our nieces refer to as a “shruggie”; strappy white sandals; and a plaid purse borrowed from her little sister.

Once we assured her that she looked every inch the college princess, she scampered to the kitchen, snatched a piece of notebook paper, and started working furiously with an orange marker to create an item to accessorize her outfit. As we traveled to the tea location, she confided that she had made herself a "college princess" degree.

By the time we had arrived, our college princess’ ebullience had deteriorated into quiet nervousness. She evidently had become aware that the other princesses were probably all going to be of the ready-made Disney variety.

Just outside the entry, one of the older teen ballerinas stood in her ballet finery, greeting arrivals. She and the other students in her group would perform later, but their enthusiasm and skills at welcoming the girls, escorting them and making them feel like real princesses were priceless.

The beautiful ballerina’s effusive chatter and compliments for the snow princess and college princesses' attire soon had both our girls beaming. Charlie regained her sparkle and confided that she had her degree in her purse.

“Do you want to see it?” she offered. A “yes” had Charlie pulling out her notebook paper diploma and handing it over. At the older ballerina’s enthusiastic reaction, Charlie floated through the check-in process. She and Stella, escorted by another ballerina, disappeared through the ballroom doors.

 A doorkeeper ballerina chats with Stella, Charlie and other princesses-in-waiting.

After dinner that night, the four kids were excused to go play, and their mom filled us in on details of the event from an adult volunteer’s perspective. She noted that Charlie was the only princess she had seen without the usual royal jewelry.

But I am certain Charlie was also the only princess to arrive with appropriate credentials--her "college princess" diploma.

It was not the traditional fairy tale, but a memorable happy ending for this grandmother nevertheless.


  1. it is a wonderful tale and worthy of a princess story.. your son and the girls all have an identical 'killer' smile... what a wonderful idea for the ballet to do this.

  2. Very cool. I'm so glad they had these experiences.

  3. Ballet and tea parties, it seems that ALL little girls love them! And what a special event for them to remember. They both look so much alike!!

  4. Lovely post and pictures! My 6 yr old granddaughter has joined a soccer team and plays every Saturday. I don't think ballet is in her future, but who knows?

  5. What sweet little princesses. And so lucky to have a doting dad. My oldest granddaughters lost their dad when they were Charlie and Stella's ages. .

  6. I've never heard of such an event, but the girls obviously enjoyed it. As did everyone else!

  7. The girls look like princesses with angelic faces. What a novel idea for Charlie to make herself a college princess diploma! I'm sure both girls will remember the afternoon forever. Too cute!

  8. I loved Charlie's "College Princess" story! I can tell she's growing up right :)