The princess. My princess. She is the quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) ruler of the house.
She can be the sweetest and kindest baby I have ever met. I have read that a baby does not empathize with another until they are 15 months old. However, when my sweetie was only 6 months old, instead of crying with another baby as most would do, she was gently touching the other baby’s cheek and even held her hand. It was precious. She also adores our cats (one of which I happen to call our “Unicorn”, which I will explain more in a later post). Each day, we go for a walk and attempt to find every single newt that we can (weather and season permitting). She will pet them and tell them, “Nice.” She also says hello to every bug and insect that she sees. And chipmunks, I have found, are wonderful “court jesters” for my princess, her laughter ringing out in peal after peal as she watches them scamper and jump around the yard.
My Emily is also sometimes randomly moved to either lovingly say the name of Mommy or Daddy and snuggle against us like she is trying to melt into us, or simply put her hands on each of our cheeks and give us a smooch. She is absolutely darling.
She is also a little fireball. If she wants something, she will shout to the hilltops so that everyone within miles knows. If you don’t give in, she will continue to express her displeasure until you have found something suitable for her to see, eat, play, or do. If, for whatever reason you can’t figure it out, she will finally just sigh, give you an exasperated look, walk away, and go figure out something else to do on her own.
She’s a girl who knows what she wants, and I hope that she always stays that way. I have seen her stand up for herself and what she wants against kids (including boys) twice her age and more. I think that this bravery and steadfastness in what she believes are great assets in the world today and I will do everything in my power to ensure that she stays true to who she is.
As Emily has grown, the tales that I began telling her at about 6 weeks old have grown with her. The only thing I will not change is the image I created for Princess Emily (and the stories that have been created so far), as that is how Princess Emily was “born.”
Sometimes it seems that my Emily is going to have red hair like her Daddy, others blonde like me, and still others, somewhere in between. However, the illustrated Princess Emily came into the world with red hair, and that is how she will remain. I also created her image in the shape of a typical little girl.
She has roundness and softness. I did not want her to be lithe and willowy as most little girls are not built like that, and I think it is damaging to their self-esteem to be told (or shown) that they should be toothpick thin. It’s not healthy for most girls. There are exceptions to this and some girls are naturally willowy, but most young children have chubby cheeks, soft arms, and a rounded belly, and that is what I wanted Princess Emily to portray. She also is in yellow instead of pink, and her tiara is really more of a headband to keep that grandiose, typical princess idea at bay. Emily is a princess, but she is more…she’s a real girl.
My other influence for Princess Emily was an amazing little girl I used to babysit. She was smart as a whip, kind, protective of her little brother like no other, and she was tough. She also knew who she wanted to be, and even when people tried to tell her otherwise, she did not waver from her viewpoint. She was unimpressed with the classic version of a princess. She did not want to play the girl who needed rescue and had to wear pink and heels. She was always portraying the hero, whether a warrior, prince, knight, Viking, or whatever idea the classic games of pretend might warrant. I have no doubt that she will also grow up to make a difference in the world with her kindness and desire to act instead of waiting to be saved. I am so happy and honored to have known her.
I have four Princess Emily stories in total so far and have been waiting to create more as I have only illustrated the first one (though I still may need to do a few more pictures). I have twenty pages total as it took me so long to do those illustrations, but the typical picture book is 30-32 pages. I will adjust this and do more if one or more of the publishers I sent my story to expresses interest and requires me to do so. Those illustrations take a considerable amount of time, which with an active almost 18 month old, I don’t have much of. But, I plan on budgeting some time so that I can get more done and end up creating even more stories for my sweetie and hopefully other children as well.
The story that I have sent out is called, “The Day We Met a Dragon.” In my next post, I will provide a little snippet of the story, which I hope you will all enjoy.
Emily and I wish you a wonderful day full of adventure and fun. Cheers!