The other day, as I was preparing dinner at a client's house, five year-old Rapunzel (as she likes to be called) came running into the kitchen.
"Do I smell croutons?" She tilted her head back and sniffed at the oven.
"Maybe..." I replied. Then I stared at the bowl of fresh croutons I'd just placed on the kitchen table.
"Croutons!" she squealed and scrambled up on a chair at the table, twisting her princess gown all around her. (Rapunzel's love for my croutons makes me think I should package and sell them, but that's another story.)
"So, Rapunzel, what's happening in your kingdom today?" I asked as I stirred creamy broccoli soup.
"I think I'm going to marry the prince," she said between munches.
"Ooo! Really? Then today is a big day."
"Suzanne, who are you married to?" she asked.
"I'm not married," I said.
Rapunzel dropped her crouton and gasped. Her gorgeous brown eyes bulged as she said, "You don't have to?!"
I quickly turned away from her and stifled my laughter in the soup pot. Then I took a deep breath, wiped the amusement off my face and looked at her.
"No. You don't have to."
She grabbed another crouton from the bowl and gnawed on it thoughtfully.
"So why didn't you get married?" she asked.
"Well, I guess I haven't met anyone who's good enough."
"Oh," she said. Then she grabbed a handful of croutons and ran out into the backyard.
I have no idea if she married the prince or not. But the shock and relief that she didn't have to get married if she didn't want to will stick with me forever.
What moment with a kid will stick with you forever?
4 years ago