I have a confession to make, I really hate Cinderella. I don't like the story line or the character. As a child, it annoyed me that poor little Cinderella was such a goody-two-shoes but never had the gumption to get herself out of what was clearly an untenable situation. I always suspected she was a whiny little brat who was seriously lacking in the determination department and thus I had a hard time scraping together too much compassion for her. Why did she put up with her evil step-sisters? Caught in a similar situation, I imagined that I would find some insidious means of terrorizing the bullies so they would leave me alone. What can I say ... I have a cruel and vengeful side and have never taken well to being victimized, even at a young age.
(And if you don't believe me, ask my Mum. She loves retelling the story of Choppy, our pet Rooster, who had the audacity to peck my knee when I was a toddler. Let's just say Choppy was missing a few tail feathers by the time I was done with him.)
The story, however, does have some redeeming elements. The mice, for example, were always main characters in my mind. Forget Prince Charming, who looked to me like he had spent a suspicious amount of time grooming his hair into that perfect pompadour, in my opinion the mice were the real heroes of the story. I delighted in the mice. And if I was going to identify with anyone in the story? I have to say that I always loved the Fairy Godmother. Now here was a character who was making things happen! She had power! She had wisdom! She had a magic wand! Sparkling glitter followed her every move! This was my kind of woman!
(What's up with the blue, by the way? Anyone know why FGMs, even in the case of Disney's chubby old lady character, all seem to wear blue? Is this a subtle Madonna reference?)
So, with my fascination for FGM's, it should not surprise you that I was quite thrilled 8 years ago when my brother and his wife asked me to be the godmother for my newly born niece. I was excited! But I was also a little nervous. I mean, the thing is, I'm not even Catholic! And I've never had a godmother myself, so I have no role models, no idea what the godmother is supposed to do, how they're supposed to act, what their responsibilities are!
As a result, in finding my way through the godmother/goddaughter journey, rather than relying on religious examples, I've leaned heavily on the extraordinarily academic source of the FGM's found in many fairy tales. Granted I don't wander around wearing long blue gowns, with a tin-foil wrapped paper towel tube in hand (not that I haven't considered this, of course), but I do try to use my "godmother" role as a way to make my goddaughter's life a little bit easier, and hope in the future, as she grows older, to have the opportunity to teach her to make her own happy endings.
While it may sound great to have a "Prince Charming" swoop down and rescue you from your ashy existence, I've learned throughout the years, that I'd much rather have a man who is my equal partner, standing by my side, not reaching down to my "lowly state." My husband does not complete me - he compliments me in my personal journey towards completion. My husband doesn't kiss me so I will come alive - he kisses because I am already alive, and vibrant, and mistress of my own destiny. I'm not waiting around for some lame glass slipper to tell me what I already know - I am a princess in my own right, thank-you very much. I happen to think that my husband is the most wonderful man in the world, but only Jesus saves.
Today my goddaughter had her First Communion. Here she is, waiting with the rest of her class before formally entering the church.
Isn't she beautiful? And I didn't need to wave any magic wand to help her. All she needs is a few cute mice and a pumpkin, and I bet she will find her own happy ever after.