Wednesday night my mom's family threw a giant 50th anniversary party for my grandparents. It was a ton of fun! I had the chance to make one of those photo montage videos of their lives for the party, and it really got me thinking.
My grandparents met in Sunday School in California. My grandmother wasn't a member of the church, and it was her first time there. One of the very first people she saw was my grandpa, leaning his chair on two legs up against the wall in a charmingly rebellious way. My grandpa eventually baptized my grandma before serving a mission in Mexico. When he got home, they got married and started their family. 50 years later, they have 7 children, 27 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild. They've had hard times and happy times, laughter and tears, joy and suffering. 50 years later, it's easy to tell they're still very much in love.
Here's what I've been wondering: why do our fairy tale stories, like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty or The Little Mermaid, end right after the wedding of the main couple? Sure, it's romantic when a couple overcomes all odds to finally be together. But isn't it so much more romantic to see a couple who has been together for 10, 20, or even 50 years and is still madly in love with one another, even after all the hardships that life can bring? What if 50 years after "happily ever after", Prince Eric got tired of Ariel's oversensitivity when it came to eating seafood? Or Prince Phillip got sick of Aurora falling asleep at the most inopportune moments? Or Prince Charming grew weary of keeping Cinderella from sweeping up after their guests? Would we still tell their stories to our children? Are those the examples of marriage we would want to give?
Personally, I'd rather be like my grandparents any day. Sure, they had a romantic, fairy-tale-ish courtship and wedding, but they've had an even more romantic story since then. If Cole and I are half as happy on our 50th anniversary as they are today, I'll consider us lucky. If there's one thing that I've learned from my grandparents, its even though "happily ever after" is romantic, it's the details of that journey that really count.