My granddaughter Peyton is probably one of the most confident little girls I know. She is seven and her favorite thing to be is a girl. She loves to wear dresses and when they play she is always the mother. She loves to laugh. She really isn’t afraid to do anything and most things she does she is very good at. Sometimes she sets the bar kind of low I think because she wants to be a Walmart worker when she grows up due to those scanners they use. I always laugh when she is dreaming of that and her mother looks at me in disbelief. This is the same person that had aspirations to be the successor to Barbra Mandrel with a beater from my mixer as a microphone when she was about that age. I know where Peyton gets her ideas from. Like the old saying goes—the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Every year in the thumb where we live a little town called Sebewaing has a Sugar Festival. Just before school let out papers were sent home with the kids for a prince and princess contest. This was right up Peyton’s alley . If you entered the contest you got to dress up,get your hair and nails done, and ride on a float in the parade. She was so excited and told me her greatest wish was to ride on that float. I was so glad when I found out that the little girls could ride on a float even if they didn’t win. She could cross that off her very extensive bucket list right along with getting her ears pierced and that cat purse she had to have.
Her parents had a talk with her about how to act on stage and what to do when the winner was announced and so did I. I wanted her to be prepared when she didn’t win.
“Peyton you know the most important thing in this contest is to have fun and be a good girl on stage,right?”
“Oh I know Nana,Mom told me I couldn’t run around and to clap when they say who the winner is if it isn’t me. I really just want to ride on that float.”
“Well, that is good Honey you probably won’t win because you are one of the youngest ones up there. If you don’t I want you to be nice and say congratulations to the winner and not cry because you will always be my princess no matter what.”
I thought that would be the end of it.
A few days later we were at her big sisters ball game and she came up to me all excited.
“Nana, I was just talking to that lady over there (she was a parent of one of Brooke’s kindergarteners) and I told her I was going to be in the princess contest and guess what,she told me she was gonna pray that I win.!”
My shackles immediately went up because Peyton has such a strong faith in God for a seven year old. She is the only one of the grandkids that will tell me she loves God first then me.
“Peyton that does not mean that you are going to win.Don’t you think that other little girls have people praying that they will win? God answers all prayers but there can only be one winner and He might say no to it being you. Remember how you kept praying for Grandpa Perkie to come back from heaven? God heard you,He just couldn’t give you that desire even though you wanted it so bad.”
I left that ball game thinking that woman needed her head examined saying that to a little girl and really wishing that Peyton was not a part of this princess thing. I started conjuring Toddlers and Tiaras in my head and Miss P being so disappointed because she didn’t win. I guess that imagination Peyton has comes from me too.
The night of the contest was I have to admit something I will never forget. We had so much fun with all of the kids. I forgot what a festival looks like in the eyes of little ones. We walked the midway and put the grandkids on rides.My face as well as theirs hurt from smiling. As we sat there watching our girl on stage I looked at Brooke and I choked at how proud she was as Peyton walked up on that stage with her Daddy. It didn’t matter if she won or not. There we were a family in all of our glory clapping for a little girl that just wanted to ride on a float. That family that I am so thankful for and that loves me as much as I love them. I thought of how I would have felt being that little girl with her daddy walking her in front of all those people. He loved his girls just like that and even though I never got that chance with him I have seen my girls escorted by a daddy that loves them and now my granddaughter too. The little girl in me now knows even though my dad isn’t on earth he is proud of this family that my children have created. That gives me peace.
So some day if you happen to be in Walmart and you see a girl with a tiara on her head using her scanner with a big smile on her face know she really is a princess. She is Sugar Royalty but most important to me she is Peyton my little believer.