I can remember it plain as day, laying in my pretty white day bed, the one with rose globes, pink ruffled bed skirt hanging down. My daddy would come in and tuck me in careful to make it just right. “Snug as a bug in a rug” he would say; he’d kiss me goodnight but before he’d go he’d tell me a story. Stories of princes and princess’s, men riding in gallantly on white horses, women with mops and terrible chores, horrible step mothers, fairy God-mothers, but mostly Prince Charming on his big white horse. He was only just Prince Charming though, no characteristics given he was just always the saving grace for the maiden. He rescued her from whatever rotten circumstances she faced and brought her home to become his Queen, where she would bare children and most likely resume her role at mopping and scrubbing only now those chores included diaper duty as well. Daddy always left that part out.
I guess I’ve become very cynical over the years. You see I tell my daughter stories too, but I don’t tell her the magical fairy tales that consumed my childhood. I don’t want to lead her on. Life isn’t that fairy tale that I bought into so long ago.
I tell my daughter stories of suitcase toting power woman. Woman who can hold their own, woman who make their own choices, take their own path, woman who marry when they are truly ready. I tell her all the characteristics that I wish I had heard. Prince Charming is a fraud. Look not for the handsome man who can be “your savior?” Be your own. Look for a man who will not just call you his queen but treat you as one. Look for a man who will build you up rather then tear you down. The man who always uses kind words, and kind hands, he needs to be a Godly man, and will not be afraid to take the reigns lead his family in worship and prayer. A hard working man, but not so hard working that he can’t see past the over time, a man who puts GOD first, FAMILY second, and all else comes next.
But the most important thing I tell her is get an education. Don’t stop at high school and marry the first man you meet who treats you decent. That’s what I did. Good enough isn’t good enough. And most importantly you want and need to be INDEPENDENT. Don’t trap yourself in a situation you can’t escape from. A situation identical to my own, three children, a terrible marriage, no education beyond the 1 year of college I completed before becoming pregnant with my second child and deciding school with two children was near impossible; especially with a husband who wouldn’t help with the care of his own children, and a family who wasn’t much help either.
I don’t expect her to wait around until her ovaries have had their last hoorah, but I sure hope she gets her ducks in a row and never depends on a man.
You see I tell my daughter stories, but I do not lead by example, and for that I can’t forgive myself
I tell her she is valuable, her worth is like no other, and unless the man knows this he isn’t good enough for her. I tell her she must be respected, and loved in a way that our Father in heaven would see fit. I tell her she’s beautiful, all of her inside and out, but most importantly inside. I tell her she is smart, and that she can do anything. ANYTHING. I tell her I will always be there. ALWAYS. And I will do my best not to let her down..
I tell her all the things I wish someone had told me.. . ..