“he is smiling because he thinks the bride is pretty and he loves her.”

She was upset that we didn’t have a white marker but I ensured her that the paper was white so it didn’t matter.  She chose pink instead and asked if I could draw a really big dress for the bride.  Then she chose blue for me to draw the little boy (ring bearer).  Before I knew it, she was having me draw a groom- with a big smile.  “He is smiling because he thinks the bride is pretty and he loves her.”

She continued to draw- realizing that the bride needed her flowers and the groom his shoes- and talk to me about (how she preceived) love, marriage, and the whole Prince Charming- Princess- Happily Ever After scenario that she believed in with her entire 4-year old little heart.

As her heart filled with hope, mine was being crushed.  Part of me wanted to tell her right then and there about the reality of love, marriage, and everything but happily ever after, but I resisted.  As much as I didn’t want her heart to be crushed in twenty years, I couldn’t bear the thought of crushing her heart now.  So instead, although it pains me to know she’ll be forced to learn one day, I needed to let her have hope now.  I needed to let her continue believing for her own sake, and maybe mine too.

I used to be Sofia.  I used to draw brides and grooms with big red smiles and hearts shining in their eyes.  I used to believe in Prince Charming and happily ever after.  But now, after twentysome years of baggage and scars, I’m not quite sure I know what I believe.  For the life of me, I cannot picture myself wearing a beautiful dress and looking up an aisle to see a boy smiling back.    And with regards to Prince Charming, let’s just say I have my doubts.

I came home tonight and let a few tears roll down my cheek.  I was holding them back for most of the day and knew I was safe in my apartment.  Where they came from can only be speculated by a few hypotheses; however, one of them may very well be the result of Sofia’s heart-felt wishes.  Maybe I really do wish that I could believe again?


One thought on ““he is smiling because he thinks the bride is pretty and he loves her.”

  1. Having been married twice before I met my Prince Charming, I will tell you that waiting and NOT looking/hoping is actually the better route. The first marriage was a case of ‘too young and just plain dumb’…fortunately, with more than 20 years of water under the bridge, my first husband and I have returned to a place of mutual respect and -while not quite friends- we are at least friendly towards each other. We were great friends as kids, and he was trying to play the “White Knight” to my turbulent home life that I was desperate to escape. The second marriage was a 12-year roller coaster of emotional abuse…that I said yes to the man because I was convinced that my dad was right about me being “soiled goods”, and I put up with it while my self esteem went down the drain. When I met my (now) husband, I was in an “I HATE MEN” place, and I had no interest in developing a relationship. I won’t go into the whole story of what happened, but love -REAL love- found me. Not to say that I didn’t love my exes, because I did…but neither situation was the same. This was (and is) unconditional love…without expectation. My husband gave up his country to be with me, walked into a ready-made family -which blew my mind because he had never been married, never had kids…and had fallen in love with me – a woman with 35 years of emotional baggage. It has not been “perfect” (nothing ever is), but as he and I approach our 4th wedding anniversary this December, I can tell you that we are more in love today than the day we met…and have a child together (yeah, imagine, having a 19-yr old, a 13-yr old, and a 2-yr old…LOL). My point in sharing this is that for all the lessons I’ve learned, few have been more powerful than letting love find you. Looking for it will find a lot of heartache and unmendable mistakes (none of which I regret, by the way). Once you let go, it finds you. 🙂

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