Fairy Godmothers (sort of)

The post today was going to be about crossfit (shocking) complete with a Rich Froning analogy (even more shocking).  But when I sat down to write, iPhoto was open with Disney pictures from our trip, which I of course, started to look through, which got me to the Fairy Godmother photo, which got me to look up all the other Fairy Godmother photos from our other trips (honestly, I wanted to see how my body had changed over the last 5 years . . . really mature, I know, but logical in the context of some of my discussions today), which got me to here . . . .

Yup.  A post on Fairy Godmothers.  Well, sort of.

As popular as the idea of a fairy godmother is, Cinderella is pretty much the only story with such a character (yes, there were fairies in Sleeping Beauty, but they are nothing like the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella).  Clearly then, the idea that a magical being can pop out of nowhere, pull you out of wherever it is that you’re stuck and completely change your life for the better is a narrative with wide appeal across generations.

There have definitely been times in my life when I’ve wished for a fairy godmother to come along and “magic” me out of a situation . . . or at least “magic” me some new shoes.  But as I reexamined the story of Cinderella again, something became apparent to me after reading this quote:

“Even miracles take a little time”

Cinderella had to put in years of hard work before her Fairy Godmother appeared.  Perhaps we too need to put in the work before fate/the universe rewards us with some magic of our own.

And then there is this quote:

“The magic will only last so long”

Right. So hard work = a little bit of magic, more hard work = a little bit more magic, and so on . . .

Which leads me to my favourite quote about fairy godmothers

“I became my own fairy godmother”
–Amy Schumer

On that note (and while I contemplate why one of my lowest marks in undergrad was in a Children’s Lit course), I will leave you with one of the recipes that I made yesterday that was really quite delightful . . . super easy lemon curd.  I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s good and I’m working on ways to use it up now . . . more on that later!

Lemon Curd

  • Servings: 2 cups (approx)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

zest from 1 lemon

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup raw honey

3 eggs

6tbs coconut oil

Directions

  1. In a saucepan set on medium heat, add the eggs, honey and lemon zest.  Whisk constantly until the mixture turns paler and thickens slightly. Be careful not to set the heat too high or to stop whisking or you may end up with scrambled eggs!  A little bit of cooked egg is ok, you can strain it out at the end!
  2. At this point, add in the lemon juice and coconut oil.  Keep whisking well and watch as the mixture will turn a very pale yellow and will thicken nicely.  It may even start to bubble.  Once it has reached a thickness that you deem appropriate, pull the pan off the heat and strain the mixture through a fine metal sieve.
  3. Store the curd in a mason jar in the fridge.  Use as you wish!

 

Cinderella Ate my Daughter. And I’m Ok With That.

My daughter loves the Disney Princesses.  She loves the movies.  She loves reading stories about them.  She loves playing with toys themed around the Princesses.  And she loves to dress up in Princess dresses.

And I’ve always found it pretty adorable.  And I’ve clearly encouraged it – after all, I do buy most of the toys/books/games that come into our house.

But with every Princess-themed item that comes into our house, I will admit, I have a momentary twinge of guilt, that voice in the back of my mind – likely honed in my 13 years of all-girls education – asking me why I’m perpetuating the gender divide by buying into all things pink and sparkly for my daughter.  I will even admit that the first princess-themed items that my daughter received were themed to Belle – precisely because of that voice – I rationalized that a book-loving princess couldn’t be all bad.

But as the kids and I looked at Cinderella this week, I couldn’t help but wonder, why there is so much angst about our daughters playing princesses.

As we read all 3 versions of Cinderella (Perrault, Hewet & Brothers Grimm), it became abundantly clear that it was not the Prince that saved her from her life as a servant to her step-mother and step-sisters, it was her kindness.  And it is in fact the moral of the first two versions of the story that kindness and strength of character are worth far more than beauty ever can be.

Isn’t this exactly the sort of life lesson I want to impart to my daughter?  Don’t I want her to grow up thinking that good things come to those who are good and work hard.  And if going to a ball and wearing a gorgeous dress and fantastic shoes happen to be the reward for a job well done, then so be it.

And with this revelation, I hope that voice in my head has been silenced; that voice that says I should feel guilty for so willingly embracing all things Princess.

But it’s also got me wondering.  If I can simultaneously buy into the Princess mystique for my daughter while exposing her to toys that bend gender barriers (toys like Goldieblox that introduce girls to the joys of engineering) and books that promote non-traditional roles for girls (books like Rosie Revere, Engineer), why can’t I do the same for my son?  Where are the toys and books that glorify housekeeping and cooking and child-rearing as exciting roles for males?

But I digress.  This unit on Disney is quickly become more fascinating, both for me and the kids, than I ever thought possible.  I can’t wait for this week to start as we move away from Cinderella to learn more about Peter Pan and maybe even touch on Alice in Wonderland; my two favourite children’s stories of all time.

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