In a world filled with busy bodies, pragmatists and realists – you have to know that little fairy tales still do come true. All it takes is a little maternal instinct. 😉
Once upon a time, there lived a Little Princess Sam, who packed her favorite Tangled miniature toys in her carry-on for an upcoming trip to Disneyworld, Orlando. The set was a gift from one of Sam’s fairy godmother’s Polly, and it contained Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Maximus and Pascal the Chameleon, who stands approximately an inch tall (tail included).
At the airport on the evening of the flight out, with a looong day of “no nap” about to come to a close, Princess Sam was angsty, wired and tired, and so the Wise Queen Mother (of course… is there any other kind? 😉 ) allowed Sam to bring out her figurines to play. After all, Little-r Princess Jamie was fussy too, and the toys would help diffuse the already overtired bunch.
Then before they knew it, the cavalry had to rush and board the big blue jet (as the Princess fondly calls the Southwest Planes), only noticing 90 minutes and a full fledged tantrum breakdown later upon arrival at the Tampa airport, that Pascal the Chameleon somehow wandered and was not in his nice little nook in the backpack. Of course this news resulted in another wave of distraught wails from the Princess, and she repeatedly cried, “My Pascal is LOST! Oh NOOO!” It could have been the end of the world from the sound of it.
The Wise Queen Mother (let’s call her WQM) wanted to call the ground crew back in the RDU Airport and see if anyone picked up the little chameleon, but she was instantly dissuaded by the Grumpy Pragmatic — errr — Dad 😉 (You see, only the women in the story are royalty, haha!). He said, “It’s a 1-inch toy. They may have swept it up and not seen it. Why would they even keep it, it’s not like we lost an iPad or a phone…” And yet there was something in WQM’s gut that hoped — and yes, prayed — that the little Pascal would still somehow return to his distraught Princess.
Princess Sam never forgot Pascal, so much so, that on the following day’s trip into Disneyworld, WQM had to replace him with an 8″ plush sized version (using of course, Dad’s credit card — which may have only added to his increasing strands of white hair and stress lines). Little Princess Sam (and Little-r Princess Jamie) were thrilled with the presence of their new green cuddly friend. However, the one-inch toy was still not forgotten. “Mommy! The Mommy Pascal is crying because he lost the Baby Pascal! Oh noooo!” She groaned over and over again. This lament was heard about 321 times over the next few days.
The weekend passed in a blur, and finally the cavalry was on their way back to the windy Kindgom of Chapel Hill. Upon landing, WQM had the insatiable urge once again to ask the ground crew if anybody saw a green chameleon lying about. She hesitated at first, and then asked Dad if they could get the bags while she tried. He shrugged, probably also thinking only of the fact that he was late for work, but to his credit, he let her do it anyway.
The WQM approached the Big Blue Jet’s customer service desk tentatively and spoke to a pleasant-looking woman with “Cecily” on her name tag. Maybe she’s a mother too, so she won’t think I’m THAT silly, WQM thought. When her turn came up (after several passengers trying to cancel or re-book their flights), she spoke to Cecily with a sheepish smile. “It may be silly, but last Friday night when we flew out, my daughter misplaced her miniature green chameleon, and I just had to check if maybe someone picked it up and kept it?”
Cecily’s eyes widened in amusement, and what WQM thought was a suppressed laugh, but she held up her finger and turned her back as she made some calls. WQM thought it might also be the most embarrassing moment of her travel life — here she was, looking for a 1-inch green toy, of all things. But, as most mothers know, they will do anything — ANYTHING — for their daughters… or at least they will try, if it will spare them any more unnecessary drama.
A few minutes later, Cecily put down the phone, turned back to WQM and said, “What a strange coincidence. I was with Bart (one of the cleaners) this morning on our way to our stop here and he was just telling me about this tiny green frog-looking toy he found… just as you’re describing! I’m sorry I took so long, I was trying to locate him. He is on his way here with it as we speak!”
WQM was overjoyed. Pascal had been found! He was saved by the Blue Jet’s Knight-in-Shining-Black-Uniform named Bart (who actually resembles a jollier younger version of Kenny Rogers). Bart came 10 minutes later carrying Pascal in the palm of his hand and WQM was so happy she couldn’t contain herself and gave him a grateful hug. He told her he was amused when he had found Pascal (he collects lost things apparently) and he was making his way to the lost and found area where he was going to leave it in case someone did look for it, when he got the call to come back. WQM couldn’t thank him enough. A true hero indeed!
Nearby a flight attendant watched and listened to the entire scene, said to WQM, “You gotta love Southwest. Saving one child at a time.” WQM agreed, but then added, “I think it’s more like saving one MOTHER at a time!”
More than anything, WQM felt validated. She had trusted her motherly instinct and listened to the persistent — yet probably irrational — part of her brain that said she wasn’t doing all she could if she didn’t at least check one last time (even if a part of her knew that Dad could be right). It was also for her peace of mind, because she knew she was never going to hear the end of it from the Little Princess that does not forget these kinds of things. Dad was pleasantly surprised and impressed. “Good job Mom,” was all he could say with an approving nod.
But none was happier than the Little Princess Sam, “(Gasp!) Oh PASCAL! YAY!!!!” she exclaimed with a smile one cannot even begin to describe as she reached for her tiny pet. All the way back home, she couldn’t wipe the grin of her face and spontaneously asked to celebrate by eating in Chic-Fil-A. Now after all of that, how could WQM turn down such a request?!
The Moral(s) of the Story:
A miniature chameleon is as important to a child as a smartphone or an iPad is to a businessman. It is great that there are people (on Southwest) that recognize that!
There’s a saying that goes: Mothers know best. In this case, it’s really because she does! 😉