Jun 12, 2008
Cinderella's Carriage Got Stuck in a Rut
If you were like me as a young girl, you watched all princess movies, dressed up in plastic high heels, and dreamed about a prince who would one day sweep you off your feet and ride off into the sunset with you on his horse. The blockbuster hit "Enchanted" made us all believe for a few moments that perhaps this fairy tale life really does exist in these modern times. But one look at our crazy, cluttered lives and we get a blaring reality check. Life ain't the pretty fairy tale we dreamed as a little girl. When I scribbled in my diary and hummed along to princess tunes, I never dreamed I'd end up a single mom at 19. Not in the plan. Prince charming turned out to be a dud who installed car stereos for a living and nearly blew my newborn's eardrums out cruising around in his "souped up" Volvo with the speakers blasting. My castle was a 12x10 bedroom in my parents house, where I watched Days of our Lives and wondered how I'd ever get out of my rut. And then along came a real prince charming, via the internet! It was too good to be true! Cute, successful, and living down by the beach, where I'd always dreamed of residing. Surely, life would be peachy keen now! Fast forward one year and I'm huddled over the porcelain throne puking my guts out, six weeks pregnant after our whirlwind wedding and honeymoon. I knew not a soul in southern CA, and spent my days in an oversized bathrobe, not exactly the sexy garb I'd pictured myself in as a newlywed. Fast forward eight years (this week!) later. Four kids, countless moves, job changes, sicknesses, stretch marks, and here we are. Not exactly the fairy tale I carved out in my little third grade mind. Prince Charming often leaves his dirty undies and socks strewn around the bedroom floor, and the servants have yet to show up at my castle to do their spring cleaning. The darling children leave trails of Cheerio crumbs around the house, plaster their sticky jelly fingers on the mirrors, and fight over who got the better bendy straw for their chocolate milk. (Please tell me I'm not alone in this!!) So, you could say Cinderella got a bit off track. Or rather, she never quite made it to the ball in her pretty dress, but rather stayed put in her rags (aka sweat pants or whatever is clean, fits, and hides milk stains) I venture to say I'm not the only girl who didn't get her fairy tale ending. I could tell you countless stories of friends who figured out life ain't all the movies make it out to be. No good husbands, health nightmares, bratty children, nosy in laws, disappointing jobs, and the list goes on. Yes, life can be rough, disappointing, frustrating, exhausting. As my one friend explained, "I had such good intentions going into motherhood. I would prop my darling baby in a cute little stroller, slather sunscreen on her rosy litte cheeks, slip on my designer running shoes, grab my nonfat Starbucks latte, and go for a brisk jog in my beautiful neighborhood each day. In reality, those rosy cheeks turned out to be eczema, and I hid inside my dark apartment for three months, crying and trying to figure out how to squeeze in a shower between breast pumping sessions." Her honesty amused me, but I oh so related. Those dreams, those fantasies of the perfect life, flushed down the drain in the whirlwind of life. Is it really so bad, though, I wonder? After all, Cinderella truly was just a fairy tale. We never saw her struggle through puberty, slather on zit cream before the big dance, or complain about PMS bloat. Surely life wasn't all grand for her either, right? Personally, I'm glad for the bumps along the road, because they've made me stronger, appreciative, honest, and real. I may not be living the fairy tale life, but I'm living a good life, the very life God intended for me. I'll take my sticky floor any day, because it means there four little people have left their footprints on it today. And that alone is worth it.