Monday, February 28, 2011

Fairy Tale is another way of saying

What are the stories we tell to our children? Do we tell them about the pain? Do we tell them that love is not the easy thing we imagine it to be?

Do we tell them that we fell in love when we were most vulnerable? Do we tell them that it was the most painful experience of our lives? Do we bitterly stand up and yell at the movie, “lies!”

We sit quietly and smile at the romantic comedy. We tell them fairy tales. We tell them that life is straight forward. We tell our kids that everything will work out. Life isn't hard, and people are good. We tell them that it is all safe, an enormous game where at the end, despite all the pain, we go happily. We hide our pain. We hide the complexities, the lies, the sadness.

We tell them the happy stories. The times we were with our friends. The crazy things we did as kids. We tell them about the time we tied up the babysitter. We tell them about the first date, where we went clam-digging instead of going to a movie. We tell them about the time we stayed up until dawn talking to our friends.

We don't tell them about how hard love was to come by. We don't tell them about the hook-up culture of college. We don't tell them about the years of uncertainty, the off and on relationships, the burned bridges. We don't tell our children about that party where we finally gave in to peer pressure. We don't tell them about the divorce or how hard it was. We don't tell them that we are just people too. That we do not have the control we say we do. We don't tell them that we are weaker than they are.

And we hope they live the fairy tale. We hope they don't experience divorce, loss, confusion. We hope they make the world a better place. We hope that when they become adults that they will actually live up to the maturity and meaning behind the word. We hope they will be better.

But who can say? I hope I can give my children that innocent world. I hope that they will be the last generation to experience pain. I hope they will never have to deal with the complexities of life as it is now. I hope they live the fairy tale.

And I know it is a lie to myself. But I hope that when I tell my children, it is not a lie to them.