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As a child we all loved bedtime stories... and as a parent or grandparent there is something so special about snuggling up with that special child and reading those stories to them over and over again. Many of those stories have some very important lessons on life in them... and then there are some that we just love to read because they make us feel warm and cozy. I miss the old stories that children don't seem to hear enough these days. Jack and the Bean Stalk, Rumplestiltskin, Cinderella, Snow White and Peter Pan. But two of my very favorites were always Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood. Being a blonde-head myself, I always thought I was the lead character in these stories, and that they must somehow be about me. My Mom even made me a beautiful velvet red hooded cape when I was a child that I would wear ever so proudly.
As I've grown up, though, some of these stories take on a different meaning. Often we wish we could fall asleep for many, many years... and how awesome would it be to have a beanstalk to climb to escape the giants we face each day? I've learned over and over that the slipper doesn't fit my foot when the prince comes along to try it on, and I only had 3 little "dwarfs" of my own to take care of, and they went and grew up on me! Peter Pan was my middle son's favorite, and I think my poor Mom had to watch the vhs video everytime she was with him! But oh, how I used to love Tinkerbell - yet as I grew up I also came to see what a sneaky little underhanded chick she really was, so that changed my opinion of her! I read Little Red Riding Hood and think "What parent would seriously let their child walk to the end of their own driveway alone these days, much less to Grandma's house?" but I do appreciate the early warning that things are not always what they seem, and we need to be paying close attention to the wolves in disguise. But I think my least favorite story now is Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It's great as a child to be reminded that we aren't a "fit" for everything... but there is a perfect chair just for us. But it's not so great to think someone has been eating my porridge... and even less great to wonder "who's been sleeping in my bed."
It's very seldom that I miss my childhood. But very often I miss those special times with my own children when they were young. On days like today, when it's cold and rainy outside, I miss snuggling with them in front of the TV watching movies that had meaning, hot chocolate, chicken noodle soup with grilled cheese sandwiches...those special things that made everyone feel safe and warm. And I do miss the innocence of believing in the fairy tales... of loving Goldilocks and the Three Bears, because after all, they had to be writing about me!