My Leap List

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Real-Life Fairytale

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     This is not the life I dreamed of as a girl:  a knight in shining armor to sweep me off my feet, apparently enough money that I never even had to dream it into the picture, a castle nestled in the woods, and singing birds.  A grand wedding and then....well, Happily-Ever-After, of course.  A Disney Cinderella scene, minus Maleficent. 
     Well, I had the grand wedding and quickly realized that Happily-Ever-After is a lot of work.  My jaded prince is battle scarred.    My feet are grounded in reality.  There is rarely enough money to not dream it into the picture.  (Perhaps I should have visualized Rumplestilskin instead!)  My cottage is falling apart around me and the weeds are taller than my knees.  I do have singing birds though, along with two turtles and a floppy-eared bunny.
     If I knew this was what my life would be like, I never would have chosen this path in life.  That would have been a tragedy because I would have missed all the magic that comes with this version.  
     My son looks at life with an optimistic sense of humor that helps dispel the gloom.  His compassion inspires me to forgive the evil witches and wizards in my life.  My daughter looks at the world through old eyes and gives me sage advice on our journey.  She keeps me sane and reminds me of who I really am in this story.
     My prince is battle scarred and most of the time I save him from the monsters that rage in his head.  But when I feel most lost and alone, he lifts me back up and gives me the strength to keep fighting.  
     This cottage may be falling apart, but it is mine.  It has protected us through many storms.  The dents in the wall from a little guy learning flips and stains on the floor from an artist in training, add to my life.  The carpet is threadbare in a few spots from a new baby bunny, but without her, our lives would be muted.    
     We may struggle for money, but the jobs I take have brought so many wonderful people into my life.  Besides, I love needlepoint, but I would get bored sitting in a tower every day.   
     In my darkest moments I rage, "This isn't the life I wanted.  It isn't fair.  How could this happen to me?"  
     In my lucid moments, I rejoice that this isn't the life I wanted.  It isn't a fairy tale.  It is real and messy and hard and painful and amazing.  As Frost would say, "That has made all the difference."

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