It’s an unmistakable smell.
Reese’s Pieces meets buttery popcorn.
I can count on two hands the times I smelled that combination as a child.
The movie theater.
When money is scarce, going to movies is a rare luxury.
When money is scarce, those luxuries are savored…from waiting in the ticket line to choosing the best seat to watching the final credits.
If you asked me which of the movies I saw as a child stood out most in my mind, I wouldn’t have to hesitate for a second to answer. In an instant, I would be back in that well-worn maroon seat, waiting for the curtains to open as my ten-year-old self soaked it all in.
What I didn’t know in those moments I spent waiting is that I would see so much of my life in the story I was about to watch unfold.
There in the theater, I watched the story of a girl who, like me, knew the pain of losing a parent far too soon.
I watched her overcome her sadness and go on to find happiness.
And while even at ten years old I knew that life just isn’t as simple as happily ever after, there in the dark, I started to wonder if perhaps life could hold a bit of that magic.
Cinderella represented hope, optimism and a belief that dreams really do come true.
This week, I will be a guest at Disneyland and on Friday, I will be immersed in all things Cinderella.
And I would be lying if I said the thought of it wasn’t keeping me up at night.
Then, on October 2nd, the very day it is released, I will take Katie to buy Cinderella: Diamond Edition.
I truly cannot wait to see the magic of the story through her young eyes.
And just as my mother whispered in my ear that afternoon in the theater, I will lean in close to Katie and repeat those same words…”I wish you the happiest of happily ever afters, sweet girl.”
*I am so incredibly grateful to Walt Disney Studios for inviting me on this trip. They have three amazing days planned, including a screening of Finding Nemo 3D and getting lost in the world of Tinker Bell in the new movie, Secret of the Wings. To read more about what Walt Disney Studios has in store for me, read Laura Willard’s overview on allParenting. Not only do I get to go on this amazing trip, but I get to go with my editor, a woman I’ve come to call my dear friend. Somebody, please pinch me.