Friday, August 9, 2013

Choose a Happy Ending

My babies are embarking on big adventures.

My baby girl starts a Mother's Day Out program later this month. My son starts preschool.  They both have wonderful teachers. And I'm so thankful.

And terrified. Because I fear my beautiful, spirited, smart, self-assured girl might encounter someone in the world who might tell her she's not those things.
I fear my son's love for life and curiosity for how things work may be dampened with rules.

We watched Cinderella recently.  Alexandra loves anything "pletty," so the movie dazzled her. She oohed and aahed. Max squealed when the sparkles began. "It's magic! Look, it's magic!"  For days afterward, Alexandra convinced anyone nearby to try a shoe, any shoe, on her foot. Max decided we needed magic wands.

They loved the beauty of the movie. I loved that Cinderella was kind and brave and found friends in those whom many overlook.   She didn't let her stepsisters and stepmother define her. She knew who she was. And without her spunk she'd never have escaped the prison other women created for her.

Likewise, my children are strong and stubborn. I want them to know how I admire that in them. They'll need those traits as they go into the world.

Because, sometimes, strangers, acquaintances, and even those one cares about say things that hurt.

I had three specific examples of instances when people had hurt me, but I deleted them.  There's no need to put mean words back out there.  (There's enough of that in the world--and especially on social media.) These same people said nice things about me, too. But years later, I still remember the time and place of each of these instances and can't recall a specific compliment. As ridiculous as they were, these mean statements became part of how I defined myself because I assumed that's how others saw me. But the problem is that I let someone else change how I saw myself.
 These statements were said as if how I was made was wrong.

And that's not right.

My children will face ogres and monsters and witches masquerading as people--and even friends.  And I hope they possess enough of the magic we call love to acknowledge that true beauty comes from within and that love of self is very powerful magic indeed.

I know life isn't a fairy tale.  But I want it to be.

My grandmother taught me long ago that the happily ever after doesn't lie in the hands of fate.  A person writes his or her own happy ending. One first must choose it to be so. When one experiences conflict, happiness must again be chosen.  Every person is perfect in his or her own way, and children deserve to feel that way.  Every boy deserves to feel the devotion of a princess. Every girl deserves a prince charming who will rescue and protect her--even if it's only from herself.

I know happily ever after isn't a reality for everyone. But it should be.

I hope my precious children know that.


Just this week, a collection of links to articles popped up on my friends' Facebook pages that inspired this blog.  I've posted links below. 

Unhappily ever After--a group of satirical(?) pictures of fairy tale princesses after they've married their princes.

An Open Letter to Kate Middleton--encouraging words to moms and their bodies

Thigh Gap--apparently, it's the hottest trend for starting school

How to Talk to Your Daughter about her body--I disagree with some of this article, but like most of it. For example, I think it's okay to tell my daughter she's beautiful. 

*Added 8-10* The Day I Stopped Saying Hurry Up: I forgot to add this one and it is so important to remember, especially now that school is starting.

 Words are powerful. Choose wisely.


  1. Thigh gaps and Tumblr girls? *shudders*

    Yes, your kids will encounter negativity and nastiness, but the love and magic you bring to their lives will fortify them to rise above it, I know!

    1. Let's hope so, Sonia. Thanks. Tumblr and other online weaponry scares me. If some adults misuse it, then children and teenagers certainly will. I can't imagine being a seventh grader during the Facebook era. I suppose I need to step up and be a part of the new technologies so I can keep up and add that knowledge to our fortification.

  2. Fears of sending offspring into the frighteneing world of reality have plagued parents for generations. But you needn't worry, Brandi. The best protection for young princes and princesses against the attacks of ogres and dragons is to provide them with a loving home in which they can take refuge and receive reinforcement. Max and Alexandra will be well girded.My heart breaks for children who live with monsters within the castle walls.

  3. This was such a heartfelt posting, Brandi! Children seem to encounter so much more hate and nastiness these days, no doubt a sad side-effect of advances in technology. I can imagine few things worse than knowing someone hurt your child, but I agree with Dee Dee. Your children have something many do not: you. They are blessed.

    1. Thank you so much. I'm going to print this off to show them how lucky they are when they need reminding...and when they learn to read.

  4. Catching up on your blog and this post certainly resonated with me! Being the mother of TWO princesses, I already feel myself wanting to slay any dragon that might come their way.

    By the way, Cinderella is my favorite princess. She's filled with love, compassion, and joy in all circumstances.

    Thanks again for this post. Loved it.

    1. Cinderella is pretty cool. We were having a family conversation tonight about who our favorite princesses were.