1) The first thing, after all the hugs and the crying and the kisses (lots of those, not that I'm complaining, shhh), was to walk Rapunzel around the grounds. To someone who'd spent her whole life in a tower, being told that all of this was hers well, it was overwhelming. I'd seen it all already, so I was bored two minutes in, but she loved it. The little lizard loved it too, meant he could win at hide and seek a few times, which actually cheered Rapunzel up. Don't ask me. I've always been a fan of winning. But if it made her happy, then I was happy.
2) Trying to convince Rapunzel that she didn't have to ask permission for everything was harder than it seemed. Too little freedom does something to you, I guess, and then she found herself with entirely too much of it. If I were her, I'd have gone mad. But she'd ask me, or her mom, or her dad, in a quiet little voice, if it'd be alright if she skipped down outside to go pick flowers, or buy bread, or dance. We found that not answering her, was worse. She'd just go sit her room and stare forlornly out the window. Eventually she learned.
3) She took to sleeping with that frying pan near her. Let me tell you how hard that one was to convince her to let go of. Got a few konks on the head myself, from troubles sleeping in the night. Nice thing about Rapunzel is that she's not the sort to wake up screaming. She'll just smack you, then wake up and realise you're not actually Mother Gothel working to kill her, or hapless goons. Sometimes she'll sing her song, the power of the sun one, in her sleep, while she twists and turns. She doesn't use the frying pan for that one.
4) Her hair. I think it freaked her out that she didn't have hair all over the place anymore. She'd shake her head a lot, lot she was trying to shake back hair that wasn't there anymore. She wore scarves a lot that first year too, hard not to with suddenly feeling the lightest of breezes on the back of you neck no matter where you went. In a stunning effort to shun her past, she cut it off again when it reached her shoulders, keeping it super short and spiky. I dig her no matter what, but short spiky hair is hot.
5) Coming from having a crazy mother who just uses you as a prop to fuel her own life and locks you in a tower to make sure you stay her crazy prop, to being the heir of an entire kingdom, a castle, and parents is mind-blowing for me. Then again, I went from being a crook to being the prince-in-waiting, but that's not nearly as culturally shocking. She had to go to school, just to learn the history of her people and the kingdom. Reading and writing she was already swell enough at, and if you've seen her with a paint brush, you know what I mean.
6) Me. Oh, I know, you knew this was going to happen at some point, but here it is, me. You go on a crazy adventure with someone, fall in love, there's some residual stuff that's going to need hashing out once all the adventure dies down. Though there was that one time we saved a pig, that was -well, that's a story for another day. Point is, I had to learn patience, and if you know me, you know I'm not a patient man. At all. She'd go from being mad at me to being besotted with me in a matter of seconds. Patience definitely came in handy.
7) She trusted me sure, but man oh boy did she have some trust issues that needed to be worked out pronto. I still can't figure out how she'd decide to trust someone, and just win them over with her smile, and how she would stubbornly insist that other people were bad news. As it turns out, girl was a pretty decent judge of character despite being locked up for 18 years. If I had to learn patience, she had to learn hesitation. She got there, not without some mishaps, but she didn't sign away the keys to the kingdom, and that's what's most important.
8) Trying to cram the past 18 years into a few tea sessions with her parents went about as well as you'd expect it would. Lots of crying on that one. She never shouted, though she'd go back to our room and just scream. Made for some uncomfortable times, me staring at my peas until one of them would very kindly tell me it was fine to go after her, they understood. Trying to figure out how to tell Rapunzel that it was okay to be scared and confused by her new life also went about as well as you'd expect. We're still working on that one a bit, especially when she goes down the hall with all the other royal portraits.
9) I taught her to swim properly, that was fun. After that, you couldn't pull her from the water. She said it was the place she felt the most free. I wonder if it had something to do with almost dying in a cave filling with water and the both of us revealing our most profound secrets - I'm with her, hard not to feel free when you're under the water and the world is all distorted, and you've got nothing but this giant peace hanging over you. We stayed far away from caves and falling rocks. No sense in tempting fate.
10) Dreams, those are the tricky things, aren't they? Her dream was to see the lights. Then, she needed a new dream. Find a new dream, and she found it getting lost in my eyes somewhere. She wasn't the sort to just want to get married and have kids and have that be that. No, her new dream was to mural the castle walls, with a vivid kaleidoscope of story. The entire thing, top to bottom, every inch. Then she wanted to improve relationships with the neighbouring kingdoms, even allowing some of their people to come her and send some of our people there in some cultural exchange. I think her new dream is for the world to be just as happy and full of sun as she is, and that's not a bad thing at all.
"Eugene, are you talking about me again?"
Whoops. Gotta go!