My son is a prince. No we are not descendants of the royal family. He is the winter formal prince at his high school. The term prince for most people brings to mind elegant attire and jewels that sparkle in a darkened room. For me, I hear the word prince and the movie Purple rain shoots across my mind, best soundtrack ever! I digress. There is only one Freshman Prince at my son’s school and he is it. The freshman class voted and he was indeed the winner. When I received the news, via text from my son, ahem, my prince, I was confused for several reasons. One, I had no idea such a title existed. The only royal courts I knew of in high school were prom and homecoming. Second, my son continues to tell me he doesn’t have many friends and no one at school really knows who he is. So imagine my surprise when his class of 280 voted him THE one.
In an effort to raise my kids in the healthiest way possible, I set aside the royal court bloodlust I had in high school and force myself to believe that such titles don’t amount to a hill of beans. But it does, and I am elated. I am busting with pride and braggadocio at my son’s title. Upon hearing the news I want to pick up my phone and call every stick-up-the-ass mom that ever questioned my slovenly appearance picking up and dropping off at his preschool. You know those moms who look perfect picking up their toddler from preschool, perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect SUV. Before I make calls to “those” women, something deeper hits me. I don’t care about bragging to them or anyone else. I don’t care about their “perfect” lives. So what do I care about? Why am I so filled with pride? If I’m not living vicariously through my child and I don’t want to cram my son’s title into those perfect bitches’ overly made up faces, then what is happening?
To break the dysfunctional pathology of my family of origin, I always dissect every thought about parenting I have. In this case I have about six minutes to dissect as my son will plop down in the car any minute.
Think…Think. It hits me, like a ton of bricks. I am proud of my son because he is a good, decent citizen of his world and his world noticed. He is kind and caring and smart and funny. He is always willing to lend a hand to others and crack a joke while doing it. My prince treats everyone the same. He speaks to the burn outs in the same manner that he speaks to the untouchable, popular kids. I am proud. This may seem obvious or even benign to the “normal” two parent household. The thought that yes, your child is decent but to me it’s a gift.
When Peter died, I had obsessive thoughts that, without his dad, my son would end up mainlining smack under the Burnside Bridge, or worse, become a member of the Tea Party. The nights I clutched my pillow and prayed for God to give me the strength to raise these children alone, might be paying off. I am gaining confidence in my parenting ability and as I watch my baby walk down the illuminated catwalk, I feel proud of the job Peter and I have done. I begin to think that even if he does end up being a troll under some bridge, I can at least say to anyone that asks; once upon a time, he was royalty.