The Simple Life

30 03 2008

Again, my topic for today references something from the “I’m a man living in a house of women” refrain. This weekend, I received my fill of princess time watching the movie Enchanted with my two girls. We hadn’t seen it prior to this weekend. This is not a movie review, but rather an attempt to pull out some of the key ideas, and some feelings about those proposed in the movie. After all, these ideas are planted in our children’s minds when we let them watch the movie in the first place.

Enchanted‘s main character, Giselle, seems a bit simple minded when she first emerges from the animated fantasy world. People are always nice over there, and she is so trusting of nearly everyone. While this is fodder for a movie character, I got to wondering, what if the real world was as hospitable as this character would like it? I don’t imagine these questions because of my own desire to have “world peace”(tm), but rather, I try to think of the context of my daughters who, while they don’t understand the words now, will eventually come to ask these very same questions in the future. They will grow up. And, then, what will I tell them?

It’s a big nasty world out there, be careful

Watch out for boys, they only want one thing …

The Disney princesses are as real as Santa Clause…

These are things that I dread having to tell my kids in the future. Not because this is the cold reality we live in, but these statements will drag them down from their own private little world, a place of happiness, to the state of reality we currently occupy. That isn’t to say that it’s all bad in reality. But, if you had a choice between fantasy and reality, which would you pick?

As they grow up, I want to give my girls certain things that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. For one, I want them to know how much we care for them, no matter how upset we may seem at any one moment. And two, I want them to have the confidence and imagination to dream the dreams they choose, and to have the ability to follow up on those dreams. I want my girls to do anything they dare to achieve in this world, and to not take no as the final word.

It may seem like a huge tangent to go from a fun girlie movie (of which I will be watching more of, I’m sure) to my girl’s futures.  However, I can not help but think about what will and won’t effect the developing minds with which I have been blessed. As children, remember, than our parents had many great aspirations for us, that we were to break out of their mold, to achieve things they never could for reasons within, or beyond their control. At the same time, I don’t want to pressure my own children. It’s not about me, it’s about making sure they have everything they need.