Confession time: I love Disney princesses.
Even as a tomboy, I grew up recognizing that those royal ladies had it going on. Pet tigers, libraries full of amazing books, and a treasure collection! A posse of seven guys that never once betrayed the Friend Zone? That's what's up.
The princesses were a feisty, talented bunch who managed to look fabulous in every outfit they wore. Frumpy blue dress with an apron? Fabulous. Yellow ball gown with a weird hair-nest on top of her head? Fab-u-lous.
There was something about a fish-tailed redhead who brushed her hair with a fork and still got the man. It just resonated with me.
But I'm an adult now. A full-fledged mom. And yesterday, as my son napped and I watched the end of Aladdin (Disney Channel was already on, so sue me)... I had to wonder: What is up with that "happy ending"?
The orchestra swells, the couple kisses, and as the families wave goodbye (is that forever?), they disappear into the sunset on a magic carpet (or fancy ship or white horse).
Happily. Ever. After.
...Or is it?
What happened AFTER happily ever after?
Walt Disney wasn't doing us any favors with those abbreviated happy endings. For goodness sake, it's the American Dream to have an Act 3! First comes love, then comes marriage... then comes Babyrella in a Pumpkin Carriage? There are too many unanswered questions here. For instance, I'm curious:
Did Jasmine rock that sheer two-piece with her post-baby stretch marks?
How did Ariel and Eric handle holidays? Beach-side turkey with the in-laws?
Was sleep deprivation even a problem for Aurora?
Did Rapunzel keep all that hair or get a mom cut?
Did Tiana ever find that work/life balance?
Was Mulan into the whole "gender neutral" parenting thing?
Where did Ariel go for breastfeeding shells?!
Did Belle home school in that ginormous library of hers?
As a mom chasing my own fairy tale, I look to these ladies for how it's done. I bet they have this parenting thing on lock. (After all, they got everything else right.) So let's have it! Who cares if their perfectly coiffed hair looks a hot mess in the morning? I need to see Cinderella on three hours of sleep. Witness Tiana run out of coffee in the morning. Laugh at a Prince Charming attempting a diaper change.
I want to know if their fairy tales look like mine!
Listen, Disney. I may not be a princess, but I am a mother. A mother who met a prince, fell in love, and rode off into the sunset at the ripe old age of 21. Our castle is modest and our animals don't sing and sweep the floors (still working on that one). But if you are looking for a sequel, I can tell you from real life experience where the story is.
Because things get faaaaaar more interesting after the "happily ever after."