Monday, June 27, 2011

Broken Homes And Fairy Tales

Many nights when I crawl in bed, my mind fills with a thousand thoughts. I confess that these thoughts range from really useful, (like a blanket for a bed-wetters bed instead of a full plastic sheet underneath) to really freaking strange. Like what happens to a guy who jumps off a diving board that's been flipped upside down. You know, so the deck is the top and the board sticks out farther. "Ahhhh....SPLAT" I also have a tendency to not realize that I'm speaking out loud when I'm in this half asleep state. I have a friend who will remember that until she dies. Hahaha...

More to the point of my story, because I never really get there quick, I was thinking about my marriage last night. And my parents, friends, relatives and just marriage in general.  The reports all over the news about the effects of broken homes on children. I thought "What really happened to Happily Ever After?"

But our fairytale stories really only revolve around the main characters. There is much information that is just left to be assumed.  There's always the evil stepmother, right?  So what does that say?

Daddy dearest in all the stories was a single dad.  We can assume there was some tragic reason why the mother is no longer in the picture. A heart wrenching tale of how her life slipped away and the poor devastated Daddy was left to manage on his own. But it might not have been that way.

Enter the step mother. Was there some glorious glass slipper tale of how she came to be step mommy? I doubt it. It's always the 'evil stepmother.' She's the one who would steal the glass slipper or drug the prince.  She was a manipulative gold digging b*tch. Plain and simple.

Then Daddy dearest dies tragically or leaves or gets poisoned by crazy stepmommy, most the time we don't know, and there is an orphan. A child so graciously adopted by the evil step mommy just to cash in on the inheritance. 

This leaves me wondering why we chase our happily ever afters and take for granted our NOW's.  How do we know which part of the cycle we fit into?  Are we the first generation or the Cinderella's of the world?

The only real conclusion I can muster from all of this is that our kids do not have a scar or mark on them based on the success or failure of our marriages. It's our parenting that counts. Daddy in the movies was loving and kind (so we're told) and the star of the show thrives against all odds to find a happy ending.  Who's to say that her happily ever after isn't just "happy enough".
Cinderella and her flock of bird friends?  Did you hear bout the hundreds of birds randomly dropping dead and falling from the sky?  What if Prince Charming can't stand the animals? What if he has allergies?

I'm worried about setting my kids up for terror or humiliation in life. They need to be aware that life is not always perfect. It's not a guarantee that you are going to have a magical happy ending. You have to work for it. You have to scrub floors and be a servant, in other words WORK, to get to your goals.  It doesn't come easy. There are failures and struggles and speedbumps. There are devastating painful times (how bout the step sisters trashing Cinderellas hand made dress?) If we get through these tough times we get those Happier-than-happy singing-with-the-birds moments too.

But.... when we are young... we don't think of that type of stuff.

I've been in my 'happily-ever-after' moments. I have lived through my wish-I-was-dead-painful moments. Every moment of my life is determined by my choices. Even if there was a fairy godmother in the picture, she really just got Cinderella and Prince Charming together, they had to do the rest. You know what that means? My cousin was my fairy godmother.  And though he may believe he's magical and can fly sometimes, that is not because he is. It's because he's MESSED UP.  But he introduced me to my Prince Charming and over the years I have seen the toad. But I kiss him anyway. He's MY toad after all.  I'm sure that I've been his Fiona and his beautiful Princess and,yes, occasionally the fire breathing dragon too.

Dreaming of a fairy tale is great. Reaching for your happy ending is wonderful. Through all my rambling, I just want to share that life is only magical when we make it so. And ninety percent of the time, we distract or busy ourselves so much that we miss the magic.
I'm living my fairytale. 
I've got a sleeping dragon (hubs snores like a son-of-a-#####), my little princess, two brave knights to protect her too (nerf swords and shields and all) and my castle. This house might be rented, but it is more of a home to me than anything I can ever remember.

Dreams are good, reaching for them is better.

What do you dream of? Are you in your fairytale? Which Part?

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