I, Charity Brooks, twenty-eight years old, wife and mother, still dream of castles....
Of high walls and vaulted ceilings, with gold leaf and trim on the columns and panels.
Of immaculate carpets and giant, ornate rugs.
Of enormous, rich, warm paintings in every niche and down every hallway.
Of stories-high windows, etched and colored, that fill the rooms with light.
Of massive chandeliers, made of thousands of crystals, shining and pristine.
And I, Charity Brooks, have been there.
This is my castle:
And I, Charity Brooks, anti-girly-princess-ness, felt like a princess!
And it was wonderful!
And, quite frankly, it had nothing to do with my gown
(which, let's be honest, was really perfect!).
It had to do with being inside its walls,
learning about how I am a queen in embryo,
how I am worth all the world.
It had to do with sitting with my husband--
a Prince, if there ever was one--
And knowing that together,
with hard work and many years,
We would make a happily ever after.
And I thought about that last night,
lying in bed next to Chad,
reading nothing special,
and being grateful for my life--
which, honestly, sometimes, is nothing like a fairy tale,
but more often than not, it is.
And it's because I've been to the Castle.
And I go back.
Again and again.
And I am happy.