Did you know that The Princess and the Pea has a different title?
It's really called The Real Princess by Hans Christian Andersen.
What? You did not know that?
Well, I totally did. I've always know, every since I was born, I've known that.
Actually I just found out a few weeks ago.
Anyway, the point is this: I read this story to the kids and it seems to have so much more meaning to me as a mother than it ever did as a child.
Also it struck me how short it is.
Read it, it'll take about 2 minutes, no joke.
Anyway again, I found profound meaning in this ever so short, short story.There is this Prince and he combs the world over looking for a princess, but not just any princess, a really real princess.
"There were plenty of princesses, but whether they were real princesses he had great difficulty in discovering; there was always something which was not quite right about them. So at last he had come home again, and he was very sad because he wanted a real princess so badly. "
Then one night a storm comes and brings with it a soaking wet princess to the gates of the castle.
Somehow it is common knowledge that if you hide a pea under 20 mattresses and 20 feather beds and the girl wakes up all black and blue from all the lumps, she must be a real princess.
The prince marries the delicate skinned princess, because,
"Nobody but a real princess could have such a delicate skin."
No wonder I bruise so easily!
Actually this story got a great discussion going between my kids and I.
I asked, "So, do you think you can really tell if someone is a real princess by putting a pea under all those mattresses?"
They answered no. I explained that they are just like the prince in the story.
Someday, when they are much, much, MUCH older they will be looking for their own prince or princess to marry.
I told them the world is full of princes and princesses. They are everywhere we look, but not all of them are really real princess and princesses.
I asked them how they would be able to tell the real princes and princesses from the not so real ones.
I was astonished at their answers.
They are kind
They are honest
They dress nicely
They chose the right
They have a beautiful smile
Such insight, such depth, from the mouths of babes!
Then I asked what would happen if they found a really real prince or princess and they had not been acting like one themselves.
They quickly realized that the real prince and princess would not want to marry them.
Then we talked about ways they can become real princes and princesses so they can be ready when they find the real thing.
We turned those answers into our family mission statement.
The kids came up with most of it themselves. Look at what they came up with.
We will strive to be real princes and princesses by being kind, choosing the right, smiling, speaking gently, loving everyone, praying, dressing nicely, being clean, reading good books, being honest, being obedient and sharing with others.
I am so proud of my kids!
I really do have the best kids on earth.
And I'm not the least bit bias.
We have started saying our family mission statement everyday at the beginning of our school day.
Maybe by the time they're 35 they'll be ready to find the real thing!