RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The word “princess” means different things to different people.
One local mom defines it as a teenager who took time out of prom night to play along with her daughter’s imagination.
The tale of “Princess Madeline” is now spreading near and far.
When two-year-old Arden sees 18-year-old Madeline Preiss, the world becomes a little brighter. Their friendship blossomed quickly, starting the moment Arden first laid eyes on a person she thought must be from a fairy tale.
“We saw lots of people dressed up in beautiful outfits, and Arden said they’re princesses and princes,” said Arden’s mother, Jennifer Chrysler, of their night out at dinner the other week.
“I looked at her and waved, and all of a sudden she yells, ‘Cinderella!’ because she thinks I’m Cinderella,” said Preiss of when she met Arden.
Preiss, who was celebrating her prom night, didn’t miss a beat.
“Took time away from her friends and her date and everyone to come over and take a picture with us and talk with us,” said Chrysler.
After that Preiss and Arden met again for a princess play date. Chrysler was so touched by Preiss’ kindness she wrote about it in a local Facebook group. The posts took off, making “Princess Madeline” recognizable to thousands of moms.
“I just feel like your one goal is to raise your children to be good people and I feel like this kind of exemplifies it, so good job to her parents,” said mother-of-two Sara Chriscoe, who recognized Preiss when she was out one day.
Preiss takes on the role of princess for many reasons. She sees it as an opportunity to spread kindness, and teach a little girl she can be anything she sets her mind to.
“I’ll say something like, ‘You’re smart and going somewhere.’ She just gets the brightest smile on her face and her eyes light up,” said Preiss.
Arden’s mother just hopes she grows up to be the kind of young lady that would play pretend with a stranger’s daughter.
There is a fairy tale ending to this stor: The tiara Preiss wears when she visits with Arden was given to her the night she and Arden first met. Preiss’ high school voted her prom queen.