I spent some time today attempting to explain my fascination with the British royal family. Mostly it's just inexplicable (why does anyone have any interest in any celebrities at all?) but a large part of it is just having a little glimpse into a lifestyle that is so very different from my own, in pretty much every way possible. I'm just a little older than The Duke Formerly Known As Prince William (does that have some kind of fancy pictograph?) and so I've spent my life sort of watching him grow up, and, through him, having a window into what life is like for the .000000001%. And Kate being a commoner added another dimension to that -- so many people (including, according to at least one account I've read, Kate herself) grow up with that "I'm gonna meet a PRINCE" fantasy -- but how often do we get to see it actually play out? I find the whole thing a fun exercise in "what if."
As the OMG ROYAL BABY! excitement grew to fever pitch this week, I found myself wondering whether Kate has been able to really process the whole thing yet. Obviously, she knew what she was getting into by marrying William and has had years to think about these things, but when I think back to my own pregnancy, I remember how hard it was to wrap my mind around the fact that I was creating a whole entire human being. Heck, three years on, sometimes the whole thing still just seems surreal. And while of course I think my son is marvelous and amazing and wonderful (because he is)...he's just a kid. A normal, regular, common, everyday kid. He'll only make it into the history books through his own actions and accomplishments. I can't help but think that it must feel extremely strange, especially for a commoner, to know that your child is ensured a place in history just by virtue of having been born. How odd, to birth a future king.
When Ian was just a couple of days old and I was in the throes of those horrible postpartum mood swings, I was sitting on the couch with him on my lap, telling him how he could be anything he wanted to be. Just talking about it, thinking about it, was enough to make me break down sobbing (but then, so did having to throw out the flowers we'd gotten in the hospital. I'm telling you, I was a WRECK for those first few weeks). But I guess I was wrong, though -- I should have told him that he can be anything he wants to be except the King of England. Funny how this new baby, born to every privilege with the eyes of the world upon him, can ONLY be the King of England. He has wealth, but my son has a wealth of possibilities. And I'll take that any day of the week. Like I said -- fascinating to watch, fun to contemplate. But I'll keep my boring private life.