Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal-Schmoyal Wedded Myth? Or Happily-Ever-After?

I get asked a lot of questions every day.  Mostly, need-based questions, like, "Can I have some milk, mommy?"  Or "Will you read me Cinderella one more time before bed?"  Or my favorite from a little potty-training-princess, "Momma, will you wipe me?" 

But I've never been asked a question more times than this one:  "Are you getting up to watch the royal wedding?"

Don't get me wrong.  No one loves a royal wedding more than I love a royal wedding.  Afterall, the dresses, the ring, crowns and tiaras, the horse and buggy, the ever-so-majestic Westminster Abbey, a young prince and his soon-to-be princess, a queen and her peeps... It's the stuff of fairy tales.  The stuff every little girl dreams of.  It's where the expression "and they lived happily ever after" comes from.

Which is why I will be watching tomorrow morning.  Of course, I want to see her dress!  But I also want to know what kind of majestic fairy tale my precious little girl will grow up trying to create for herself.

I hear moms often struggling over whether to let their daughters play with princess dolls:  Cinderella, Snow White, Aerial, and Belle.  I hear some saying they have sworn off fairy-tale books because they fear their daughters will grow up with this idea that a prince will come along and rescue them from whatever travails their life brings.  Other mothers I know are full-throttle with the Disney princesses, the happy endings, and the perfect love stories.

To be honest, I don't know that I believe in happily ever after.  I've seen too much hurt, too many broken hearts over the years.  I'm not sure I've ever thought someone could rescue me, nor have I ever personally met a prince.  Every man I know and love has flaws, perfect with all their imperfections.  I don't personally know any princesses either, although a couple girlfriends I have are certainly worthy of a tiara. 

Tomorrow we will see a real live princess marry a real live prince.  And the world will be watching on real live TV.  Maybe that's what all the hoo-ha is, over this glorious affair.  There are still princesses and crowns and happily-ever-afters in the world.

But I'm a skeptic.  I'd really like to believe.  I'd like my daughter to grow up thinking there are happy endings and rainbows and that she is a princess worthy of a crown.  But I know that life will break her heart one day, and I pray I am there to help her pick up the pieces and move on.. and keep believing.

Maybe that is the happy ending.  To keep believing no matter what life gives.

So tomorrow, while I'll be watching and goo-gah'ing over the dresses, I'll also be asking, is this wedding just feeding a vicious myth in our little-girl hearts and minds?  Or is it the real thing, a happily-ever-after that keeps us believing?  What do you think?

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