Thursday, February 17, 2011

Heroes and Sheroes and Friends

I've been thinking a lot about heroes, and not just because I think more people should wear capes more often.

Although I totally do.

Think that, that is.

Ahem.

Anyway.

When I was still teaching, we talked about heroes and sheroes - because little boys have sort of always been brought up with hero role models, but little girls sometimes needed a little reminder that they could be heroes, too. I didn't want them sitting in a tower waiting for the kiss of a handsome prince to save the day. I wanted to encourage girl power without taking anything away from the boys. You want to play princess? Groovy. Wear the tiara. Dance at the ball in a twirly gown. But slay the dragon on your own, baby.

It went - ok.

I've been known to work up a good lather talking about Disney princess culture.

Someday your prince may come. Or he may not. Or he may come and go. Or there may be a stream of princes. Or maybe other princesses are your gig. It's all good. But NONE of it results in happily ever after. Happily ever after is a myth. Why do we insist upon teaching generation after generation of little girls otherwise? Happy enough most of the time would be a SUPER great goal to strive for. And it doesn't really take anything away from the story. We could still see them leaving their wedding in their carriage waving good-bye while reading, in some fancy pants royal font, and they continued to live happily enough, most of the time. The End.

I thought Shrek and Fiona took us giant ogre steps in the right direction.

I believe everything I am telling you.

So why did I tell you just a few days ago that I was disappointed that there had been no knight in shining armor? No hero?

I just don't know.

I guess it was so deeply ingrained in me to hold out for a hero that - even though I covered it up with decades of 'you go, girl' - when faced with a crisis, I still felt like a damsel in distress. I wanted to be rescued from the tower, I wanted love's true kiss, I wanted someone to say, "as you wish", I wanted to be swept away on the back of a stolen police motorcycle, I wanted someone to lift me up where I belonged.


Way to go, Paula!

Holy cow, that's romantic stuff! At least one of those references made you gasp a tiny little bit, I bet.

Me, too.

Sigh.

Where was I? Oh yeah - heroes. More specifically, being your own hero. Slaying your own dragons.

Well, here's the thing.

Dragon slaying is hard.

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if we asked for a little help. Again - Shrek and Fiona setting a great example. Except they would never try to slay Dragon. But you know what I mean. It doesn't make you less of a hero if you ask for a little help. It makes you a TOTAL hero if you extend your hand and offer help when someone asks. But it doesn't make the one who asked in any way weak or frail or helpless. It just means they were smart enough to know when they were too tired to fight alone any more and they needed to call for reinforcements.

So.

Be your own hero, but know your limits.

I've heard from a pretty good source that we all can get by with a little help from our friends.

Thanks, friends.

6 comments:

elastamom.com said...

Fiona and Shrek----total heroes. And you're so right...really need to be your own hero.

Eva Gallant said...

You rock, Tammy! And I know you could slay that dragon with one hand tied behind your back!

Cheryl said...

Interdependence is a beautiful thing. Keep on walkin' the walk. You are doing great.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Wishing to be rescued is human nature, I think. Waiting to be rescued would be the mistake. And you're right, we rarely have to do anything all by ourselves. (Note to self: remember that.)

Joanna Jenkins said...

We'd all like to be rescued once in a while... then we pick ourselves up and take care of business.

I'm pretty sure you have a super hero cape or two in your closet, Tammy.

Hang in there. Your fan club is cheering you on.

xo jj

Pam said...

..."swept away on the back of a stolen POLICE motorcycle". Yup, that made me gasp a little. You have some rich fantasies, girlfriend.