There were times when Eudora worried about her daughter. Times like now, after she'd finish reading another fairy tale to Tiana and Charlotte. Times like now, as Charlotte lay on the floor giggling about another expected happily-ever-after, and Tiana simply sat so calmly beside her.
Most girls Tiana's age had no problem believing in magic or fairy tales and things like that. Girls like Charlotte, who would do anything to fall in love with a prince and become a princess.
But Tiana wasn't like most girls. She didn't have the same kind of interest in fairy tales as Charlotte did. Even for as young as she was, Tiana was a very practical little girl, and seemed to look more at the reality of things.
And that worried Eudora a bit.
She wouldn't mind it so much if her daughter was a bit older. But Tiana was only a little child. There was nothing wrong with believing in stories and wishes and dreams at that age. There was nothing wrong with letting a child be a child for a while.
It was important to distinguish the difference between fantasy and reality, she knew that. And she knew Tiana would work hard when it was time to make her place in life. But Tiana had so much time to grow up. Now, Tiana should just enjoy the carefree innocence of childhood. That's why she and James worked so hard, to provide and care for their daughter as best as they could. Because they wanted her to dream a child's dream for as long as possible, to experience it before reality woke her from it.
Right now, more than anything, all Eudora wanted was for her little girl...to be a little girl.
Because even if these stories were just fantasy, there was nothing wrong with holding onto them with a piece of your heart...to keep them close by, and to hope to find them somewhere in the real world. Eudora worried that if her daughter didn't take hold of them soon, then she might not recognize them later. And she worried that Tiana might miss the chance for something...magical in the future.