It was a lovely summer’s day and my husband and I had somehow escaped the children and were on a rare outing. We had been doing a bit of op shopping and were ready to go home.
Okay the truth is, he was ready to go home.
We made our way along the footpath to the pedestrian crossing and pushed the button. We stood waiting for the lights to change when two women and some children came running up and stood next to us. They were crossing the road to the entertainment complex. I knew this because the children were dressed as princess’ and Frozen the musical was showing there.
The two mothers looked weary but happily chatted away while the kids fought over who would press the button for the eighteenth time. One of the little girls said she wanted to get Princess Elsa’s autograph. Her friend piped up and said she wanted to get a photo with Elsa because then there would be two Elsa’s in one picture. Her mum laughed and said they wouldn’t be able to tell who was who.
That’s when the first child turned and said “You can’t be Elsa, you don’t have hair.” I snuck a peak at the beautiful little girl next to me. She was dressed in a sparkly blue ball gown, a proper Princess dress, just like Elsa’s and indeed she was bald.
Her eyes grew large and I was sure she was going to cry.
But she didn’t, she tilted her chin in the air and said, “so what?”
The friend says “Elsa has a plait and it’s big. Like mine.” This particular child had long thick hair that was plaited with a bow at the end.
“But your hair’s brown and Elsa’s is white, so you can’t be her either.”
“I’m still better than you.”
“What?” I whispered to my husband who was oblivious to it all. “Did that child just say she’s better than the other one because she has hair?”
I think one of the mothers felt my judgy eyes drilling into her because she gave her daughter a half-hearted warning about being mean.
My mind started turning. My husband and I drove home in silence. I couldn’t focus on any type of conversation. A story was brewing.
What if someone wrote a story about a bald Princess? What if it was like the old fashioned, traditional fairy tales? The ones with fairy godmothers and witches and evil spells and all the good stuff. Ones with lots of writing. Something different.
What if that person was me?
I’d always wanted to help people but my lack of wealth, to put it bluntly, had prevented me doing as much as I would have liked. So why not use what you can do to help people? The nagging voice just wouldn’t give it up. I tried feeding it chocolate, but still it persisted. Why not? I may only ever sell 1 copy but every little bit helps right?
So I set about creating a fairy tale about a gorgeous bald princess who is very brave and very adventurous. I named her Matilda and the book is called ‘Princess Matilda’s Miracle’. It’s fun and whimsical and although I have no idea why the little girl who stood next to me that day, was bald. The princess in the story is struggling with an evil spell that sounds sneakily like Cancer or Leukaemia.
Once it was done, including the odd picture here and there, I got nervous. I chickened out and left it in a file on my computer. I mean, I only know a handful of people. How would I sell a book like this? I am a writer and I have self-published other books but they weren’t important like this one. They don’t sell well and that doesn’t matter. This one mattered.
What if I failed to help at all?
One day about 6 months later I was online and saw a story about a woman who had lost her child to Cancer. The photo that accompanied the story showed a woman with so much hurt on her face, I immediately broke down and sobbed. I’m a mother of six myself and I just couldn’t imagine her pain. I wanted to wrap my arms around her. I wanted to comfort her and to help her but I had no way. Or did I?
My mind travelled back to the forgotten manuscript on my computer. Poor Matilda had been neglected. That’s when I realised my fear wasn’t as important as trying to help was. So I dragged it out. Got it polished and edited and formatted and now I have a book. A book, that I hope brings joy to those that need it.
Here’s to all the princesses in the world, getting their miracles.
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