Her mother has been a fan even longer.
My sister and I loved Beauty and the Beast! We saw it five times in the theater and got our VHS copy as soon as it was available. We even decorated our apartments with Belle picture frames and knick-knacks. She is still our favorite.
Since the first time I'd ever heard of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, I knew I'd take my daughter there. Of all the things Elizabeth has enjoyed in her short lifetime, the Disney Princesses have been around the longest. We watch all of the movies and play with all of the dolls and every night we read a book involving her favorite princess of that moment, which they have all been her favorite at one time or another. I love them all too, but still, Belle is my favorite.
For six months we anticipated this day. I always imagined sunny skies and warm weather, but alas, it was pouring rain and cool temperatures. It would have been the best day of the week to sleep in and skip the parks, but no, we had an 8 am appointment that we couldn't reschedule. While the boys rode Big Thunder Mountain and some Stitch ride that Derick is still complaining about, Elizabeth began her transformation. I bawled my head off.
I was sure she'd choose Ariel as she usually reigns as Queen Favorite most of the time. Merida has been inching up there recently too, but she wasn't one of the choices. Most of the little girls I know have selected Jasmine, what with the jinglies hanging off the belly-baring costume and CUTE shoes (all the other girls there when we were there were Jasmine). Elizabeth chose Belle.
I told her she needed to choose her favorite, not mine, and held out the Ariel dress which she shooed away. I asked her why she wanted to be Belle and she said to me: "Mom. Belle loves to read and she is smart. I love to read and I am smart. I have to be Belle." And so she was Belle.
Two days in a row. It was wonderful. The sun shone bright through that yellow costume even under ten dollar rain ponchos and plastic bonnets. The weather was terrible, but the day was wonderful.
I cried happy tears through the entire appointment. I love my boys with all my heart, but I know we'd have walked right past that place if Elizabeth were never born. I probably would have never known it existed and would never have known what I was missing and that would have been allright, but being able to share Belle and all I love about her with my a little person who understands why I love her too, just filled my heart with such joy I could not contain it.
I do love Belle. I love my own little Princess Belle even more. She is more beautiful than I ever imagined.