When You Grow Up, You Can Be Anything You Want, Except…

“You must pay the penalty of growing-up, Paul. You must leave fairyland behind you.” 

― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of the Island

Isn’t that such a sad thought to leave fairyland behind? I know it is for me. Not for myself but my kids. They have reintroduced me to a world that was almost forgotten. My girls, especially my oldest, live in a whimsical world full of fairies and magical princesses and one day they are going to leave it all behind. Hopefully that day is far into the future.

Some kids know, from a very young age what they want to be when they grow up. You often hear people say they knew as children that they were going to be a chef or a teacher, a nurse or policeman. My daughter is one of those children who knows exactly want she wants to be when she grows up, unfortunately, she can’t be what she wants.

Right now my oldest daughter, who is not quite 4, really wants to be a Magical Princess when she grows up.  Multiple times a day she talks about wanting to know magic, who can teach her magic, asking if there is a school she can go to learn magic and then of course how can she become a Princess. When we go on a drive, she asks if we are driving to where Magical Princesses live. If there are clouds in the sky, she very confidently tells me that when she is a Magical Princess she will be able to make a house in the clouds, play with fairies and that she will invite me over to play.  My 2-year-old daughter listens to everything her older sister says, it’s as though she is taking notes to make sure she knows all about this wonderful cloud world.  When we go on a walk though a park or forest, my daughter looks for fairies, talks about secret castles hidden in the tress and collects things just in case she needs them for magic. I think you probably get the point, she really likes fairy tales and more than anything wants to be a Magical Princess when she grows-up.


Her fantasy world is so enchanting and I can help but wish that somehow someway I could make her dream come true. It is tough for me as a parent to know that the one thing she really wants, I’ll never be able to give her. I mean, why couldn’t she just ask for a pony? I am pretty sure, she wouldn’t get one but it would be at least conceivable that when she grew up she could have one.  I am mindful not to end this dream of hers and carefully choose my words when she asks questions about magical worlds and fairies.  I want to encourage her imagination and enjoy her fantasizes without promising she can be a Magical Princess.

The a the saddest event happened few weeks ago. Ella had a breakdown in the car. Uncontrollable sopping, snotty nose and was unable to catch her breath to tell me what was wrong. She she finally gained enough composure to tell me what was wrong, she heartbroken said “I don’t think, I’ll ever be a Magical Princess.” She was so dismayed and almost angry about it. I don’t even know what triggered this dose of reality, but it was really horrible. My eyes were tearing up thinking about how upset my daughter was over this.

I started to think, this is just one of the many times I am sure I am going to have to hug my daughter when she gets her heartbroken. It will probably be about Santa and the Easter bunny next, then when she has a crush that isn’t reciprocated, shortly after will come the first breakup and I don’t even want to think about the whole list of other possibilities of events that will cause her pain.

Now, she still talks about wanting to be a Magical Princess and it’s almost as if that day never happened. She still asks if she can be one, she still makes up as many stories as ever about what she will be able to do when she is a Princess. I have to say, I am relieved that she still has these fantastic stories and her imagination still runs wild. Hopefully this a trait she keeps and can use in whatever path life takes her, because I think it’s one of her most endearing qualities.

I have my fingers crossed the next two kids have their minds set on being an engineer or veterinarian. It really doesn’t actually matter to me what they end up being if it makes them happy, it would just be nice to wholeheartedly say “Yes, of course you can be that when you grow up.” I will not however encourage them to actually do the growing up part.

“Don’t try to make me grow up before my time…” 

― Louisa May AlcottLittle Women




3 thoughts on “When You Grow Up, You Can Be Anything You Want, Except…

  1. This is so sweet. I too am in a world with a little girl who has matured from wanting to be a fairy princess to wanting to be a beautiful ballerina. Motherhood, it’s good stuff!
    Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

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