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My Fairy Tale

by Jessica Mathews 12 months ago in literature
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The key to my confidence and identity.

My Fairy Tale
Photo by photo-nic.co.uk nic on Unsplash

I’ve moved six times in my life. I actually enjoy moving. I get to find things that I thought were lost and reminisce about my younger years. As I’m packing my books, I always come across Walt Disney’s Cinderella. It’s the only bedtime story I ever remember asking my mother to read. I’m sure there were others, but this one is the only one I remember.

My mother was lovely with her thick, wavy brown hair, brown eyes, and perfect skin. Her voice has always comforted me, even as an adult. She would tuck me in my rainbow heart blankets in my small bedroom and pick up the pink, matte hardcover storybook. Cinderella is kneeling on the front holding Gus, the mouse. There is a broom and a bucket on the floor, and bluebirds are flying around her head.

She would begin to read, “Once upon a time, there was a girl named Cinderella.” No matter what point in the book, I knew every word. She would read, “And maybe a sash and beads...”

“Some beads,” I would interrupt.

She would smile and say, “maybe you should read the book to me.” We would laugh, and she would continue. I never fell asleep until the book was finished. I didn’t want to miss it.

I hold my book as an adult and remember those nights with my mother. The cover has a juice stain and, the top corner has chew marks from my mother’s cat. The crisp pages are exactly as I remember with rich colors and whimsical illustrations.

As a child, I loved the idea of being rescued by a prince, going to balls in elaborate gowns, and dancing all night. I grew up in a small, poor town, so these things seemed foreign. As an adult, I still enjoy these books and movies. I still become excited for occasions that allow me to wear a gown and diamond jewelry. Loving these books as a child has spilled into adulthood; I still read the books and watch the movies. Part of my heart will always love princesses and their stories. My eyes will light up every time my husband rescues me, even though this era frowns on that type of ideal. It is in my identity. I curl my long hair and twirl my skirt before I leave on a simple errand, possibly in one of my dozens of Disney t-shirts.

This book gave me more than femininity. This book made me a dreamer. There is a confidence that comes along with this dreaming mind. I believe things can work out and have happy endings. I believe anyone can be happy if they seek it. This book made love my priority in my life. Everyone told me to find a career before worrying about a man. I knew I could have both. I have spent my entire adult life with one perfect man, my prince. However, I am chasing a career too. I can have it all. I can have my happy ending. This confidence helped me in high school too. In high school, everyone is unhappy and searching for an identity. I already had an idea of who I wanted to be, and that idea still applies to me as an adult, a mother, and a writer.

I dreamed of reading this book to my own daughter, but I had boys who aren’t the least bit interested, and that is okay. I wish for them to have the confidence in their identity I had. The love and magic of this book is only mine to keep forever. Long after my mother is gone, I will have this book to remember our bedtime story memories. It is a tangible connection to her, and I will hold it every time I move for the rest of my life.

literature

About the author

Jessica Mathews

I am originally from Louisiana. I currently live in Oklahoma with my husband and son. I am a senior at the University of Oklahoma. I love grammar and proofreading, and I'd like to pursue that as well as professional writing.

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