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Suspended Animation

posted Tuesday December 27th, 2011

We’re going to Disneyland soon, and Sophie’s hoping we see the new Disney princess, the purple-loving, blue-eyed Sofia I read about a couple weeks ago. Yes, there’s a new Disney princess, and she and Sophie have a lot in common.

When Sophie mentions Sofia, I change the subject. I never should have brought it up. I wish I’d never seen the article about her.

At first, I was so excited about the fact that there was a princess with a similar name, who actually looked a little like my Sophie and — what are the odds?! — loves the color purple, that I didn’t notice the fine print.

Sofia is a princess who will never age. She’ll stay a little girl forever, won’t grow up and fall in love and (after enough angst and chase scenes to fill a feature-length animated major motion picture that can later be re-released in 3D to make extra money) marry like, say, Cinderella or Belle or Snow White. Prince Charming won’t ever sweep Sofia off her feet.

She’ll stay a kid forever. Will always live with her mom and dad, won’t get a job, won’t fall in love and marry and move away. She’ll forever live in suspended animation, learning lessons about how to share.

Sofia won’t even have her own feature-length film, according to the story I read. Just a made for TV movie and a show. If she does show up at Disneyland, I’m guessing it won’t be for a while.

I didn’t tell Sophie that. She’s looking forward to meeting another purple lover in person.

I don’t think Sophie will mind much when Sofia doesn’t appear on Main Street. She’s really into Tangled, announced the other day that she’s growing her hair out so she can be Rapunzel for Halloween next year, and she’s always had a thing for Snow White; there will be enough princesses to keep her happy.

It won’t surprise you to know that I don’t much care for any of the Disney princesses — I prefer Sophie’s favorite, Olivia the Pig, a feisty kid who carries her weight in her hips and never attracts chriping birds or sweet, helpful rodents. As far as I’m concerned, the princesses have always been a necessary evil during the trip to the Magic Kingdom Ray insists we take every year.

Until I read that story about Sofia, I’d never given much thought to Sophie, vis a vis the Disney princesses. Annabelle outgrew them long ago — she might stand in line to see the fairies, but she’s happy to skip the princesses in favor of Space Mountain. Not Sophie — she wants to meet every character, and so that’s what we’ll do, she and I, while Ray goes on the rides that give me vertigo.

It could happen, but right now I don’t forsee a time when Sophie will outgrow the princesses. Sitting here, I’m feeling a little vertigo come on.

Long ago, I gave in to and even started liking the notion that Sophie will (most likely) always want to go to Disneyland, will (most likely) always believe in Santa, will (I’m certain of this, I still do it myself) always turn on Sesame Street when no one’s looking. Like Princess Sofia, in some ways she’ll never grow up, even if she does get a job and fall in love and get married and even (one of her current obsessions) learn to drive a car.

I am cool with that. But you don’t need to hit me over the head with it, Universe. Jeez. And right before we’re going to Disneyland.

I hope I can shake my Big Picture princess thoughts. Otherwise it’s going to be a very long three days, and I’m not just talking about the lines.

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Tags: Filed under: culture, Down syndrome by Amysilverman

3 Responses to “Suspended Animation”

  1. Beautiful piece, Amy. I am truly touched.

  2. I get it, I do. But the other princesses never get beyond their princes’ proclamations of love. They never have to pay for the fancy wedding with the doves, much less clean up after the doves. They don’t worry about the mortgage, and they never get in an argument about which movie to see or whose turn it is to change the baby (that’s what the magic fairy-nannies are for). Dora and Olivia aren’t getting any older either. Meanwhile Ruby is thrust prematurely into adulthood, forced to tend to her litte brother Max while their grandmother wilfully ignores their mother’s absenteeism.

  3. all good points! max and ruby creeps me out.

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