I took a trip down memory lane this weekend.

Trading in my usual weekend plans, I curled up on the couch next to my mom on Friday night and turned on Cinderella.

I hadn’t seen the movie since it was in theaters five years ago, but I know the story well enough.

In fact, I probably know it better than the back of my hand.

My childhood was filled with wonder and true love and beautiful ball gowns and magic.

I wasn’t just watching Disney princess movies, I was living them. I was Princess Aurora and Cinderella and Snow White and, when it was bath time, Ariel.

My life was its own little fairy tale.

My mom told me that the first time I ever saw a boy, I started singing to him in the middle of the store.

“I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream,” I belted at the little boy in front of me at the young age of 3.

As I got older, the magic didn’t go away, but it was buried. Buried by mean girls and judgmental boys and unhappy adults.

All of whom stopped believing in magic.

I traded in glass slippers for glasses and beautiful dresses for books.

But you know who was there by my side all along?

Not a singing bluebird or a talking fish. But my mom.

Times were really tough for me in school. I didn’t have a lot of friends and I was bullied for being too kind, too quiet, too happy, too anything the mean girls could sink their poisonous claws into.

And yet... and yet the magic inside me didn’t falter.

It was weak. It was but embers burning in a dying fire. But it was there.

No matter how hard things got, my mom made sure I found happiness in other places. If not school, then at home.

After what felt like a lifetime, things got better.

But I always knew that if life got hard again, if I felt bogged down by the world, I had my magic. And more importantly, I had my mom.

So when we watched Cinderella Friday, and Snow White the following day, I couldn’t stop tearing up.

I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for my mom to see me at my lowest time and time again.

But, much like Cinderella’s mom, my own mother reminded me to be kind and have courage.

I don’t have a fairy god mother or a Prince Charming, but I have something better than that.

I have my mommy.

And I think that’s stronger than all the magic in the world combined.

Contact Averil Gleason at agleason@fbherald.com.

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