A Fairy Tale For A New Era

I am old enough that I was raised on all the original pre-Disney version of fairy tales found in actual books, made of paper. You know the ones where the heroine having gone through some terrible trial is rescued by prince charming. My mother would read these bedtime stories to me and my sisters. We loved to hear about Rapunzel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Red Riding Hood and imagine what it would be like to be them.

These fairy tale themes, like it or not, are a deeply imbedded part of our culture. You can see this in the way that we idolizes ornate weddings with princess-like gowns. The groom is our purported prince and rescuer with whom we ride off at the end of our big day to start our honeymoon ‘happily ever after’.

Times have changed, and truth be told, very few of us get to live that fairy tale. So what happens when the prince gets waylaid and tosses you aside for the cleverly disguised witch? Or perhaps the prince dies while fighting off the dragons? Maybe the Seven Dwarfs go rogue and hold the prince captive so they can force a ransom out of the king for your rescue? The Big Bed Wolf conspires to take over all muffin delivery in the forest and puts you our of business? The scenarios are endless.

 I am sorely missing my prince right now. He came riding in, we rode together for over two decades and then lost a battle with the dragons. With all my mishaps of late, I have realized I am still captive to the original script. I am longing for the prince to come rescue me, and at least take over the groceries and laundry for a while. It would be really nice if he would come make my favorite tea, hand me a couple Tylenol and say, “Sit down and relax, everything is okay”. I am left with a sense of sadness, and I am angry that I have to deal with the all dang dragons that keep cropping up.

But I am not truly alone. What I have is not a single prince, but a network of family and friends who come along side me to do royal battle with the dragons. One friend drove me to the pharmacy and took me out to lunch when my arm was splinted from wrist to shoulder. One dragon down. My son has carried carloads of groceries up to our apartment. Another dragon gone. Many coworkers have performed the tasks I can not do right now.

It is time to re-write the script. You are a prince or princess. If you are fortunate to be traveling with your own prince or princess by your side, be blessed and happy. If you are like me, you are still blessed. Look around and see who is around you. When you are able, take up the sword and fight the dragons with them. When you aren’t able, allow them to rise to their destiny, and slay the dragons for you.

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