As I grew older, I realized that even fathers have foibles. They do things that irritate or agitate or even devastate their children. My dad was like that. That made it difficult to reconcile the command to "honor my father" with my awareness of my father's fallibility.
In our unfolding fairy tale, our princess Penelope has just about to come face to face with that same problem. She is, however, much wiser than I was at that age. I did not even attempt to recognize that my father was ever a young man with all the faults and shortcomings that attend the human youth.
The Princess stared at the ceiling. The dream had been so real. The handsome prince waiting at the altar was not a prince at all. He had been a frog.
"It's all those frog faces I looked into today. Each one's face pleading to be chosen."
Princess Penelope closed her eyes but sleep would not come.
"I cannot stay awake all night thinking of this. I wish my mother were still alive. She did this. I wonder how?"
The Princess tried to remember if her mother had ever spoken of choosing her frog.
"Her FROG? My father was a frog?"
She supposed she had always known but it was hard to imagine her father as a frog in a pool of frogs and her mother stretching out her hand to choose him.By now, my adult readers are coming to an awareness of the analogous relationship between frogs and men in our fairy tale, so I will not beleaguer that point. Do stop for a moment and remember when you realized that your father was not the prince of your childhood. Were you able to continue loving him, your father, in spite of his short comings? (For me, that did not happen right away.)
What I would like to bring to our awareness is how we tend to set our own husbands up against that same fantasy prince persona that we once held our fathers to.
I promise you, that we will not be disappointed as long as we accept them for exactly who they are, right now -AND - we cannot respect or honor them until we do.