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The Princesses Invade Boston

Think of an arena full of frenzied movie buffs. Many are dressed as their favorite characters, most are spending insane amounts of cash on collectibles, and all of them are beside themselves with anticipation.

What am I describing? Pimply-faced nerds at a Star Trek convention?

No. It's Disney Princesses on Ice.

Last week, my wife took Grace to see the Princesses at the Boston Garden. I stayed home with William for a "boy's day," which amounted to little more than checking out HDTVs at Best Buy. At first I was happy to avoid a few thousand screaming 4-year-olds. Plus, I'm not a real fan of figure skating. I mean, I like it during the Olympics, but that's about it.

Once Grace returned home, all that changed.

Despite having spent three hours in the car roundtrip, she burst into the house in a manic state, clutching an enormous magic wand as if it were an Academy Award.

"How was the show, honey?" I asked.

She launched into a stream-of-consciousness monologue that she wasn't in control of or aware of, like a medium at a séance. She bounced from detail to detail like a pinball, her arms gesturing wildly. At one point she announced that she was Tinkerbell, not Grace, and began "magic-ing" everything.

Her enthusiasm was infectious, and I regretted missing the show.

My wife described the day as fantastic — if a bit commercial — with impressive theatrics and skating. Drooling over 40-inch plasma TVs was fun and all, but I knew that I had missed something big.

At bedtime Grace was still bouncing off the walls like someone possessed, and getting her ready was no fun. Frustrated, my wife turned to me.

"Do you mind if I kill Tinkerbell?" she asked.

"Nah," I said. "We can just clap to bring her back to life."