I was at the Maryland Renaissance Festival dressed as Snow White, when a 7-year-old girl shyly came up to me with her mom. She’s was clutching her mother’s leg as I kneeled down and spoke to her in hopes of breaking through her timidity.
As usual, I spread my arms out and ask her for a princess hug. I was unprepared for the intensity of that hug.
This girl clung to me like I was her last hope in the world and didn’t say a single word. It seemed like an intense emotional time for her, so I started whispering words of encouragement. “You’re a beautiful girl. You have so much love in you. Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something.” And she just stood there with her arms wound tightly around my neck and listened.
This girl was poorly dressed, wore glasses at the age of 7, and was overweight. It saddens me to say this, but she probably didn’t get to hear words like that often. Perhaps that’s why after that hug, she didn’t stop smiling.
Being a Disney princess often grants me direct access to the hearts of little girls, which is a overwhelming and wondrous privilege. I will always remember that hug as the reminder of how powerful words of love can be.