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Princesses: Baby girl

I hope you all have been getting outside to enjoy the long awaited Spring weather. Flowers are blooming. The birds are singing. The peepers are peeping (you know, the little peeping frogs). Trees are beginning to bud with bits of greenery. And nary a snowflake insight…well, at least not in my backyard. So many exciting new things are growing, sprouting, blooming, hatching, and even, delivering!

This past Saturday, the “Great Kate Debate” came to a close with the delivery of a new Princess. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and her husband, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, welcomed the arrival of their second child, a darling daughter, born at 8:34am, about an hour and a half after Kate went into labor. And now the world watches with eager anticipation to learn the name of the wee princess. Will it be Alice? Charlotte? Elizabeth, Jr? (I joke) Maybe a “G” name to match her brother, Prince George, like, say, Grace or Gwendolyn. Princess Gwendolyn. Wasn’t that a character in a movie? I like Alice myself…spelled “Alyce”. I wonder if it’s too late to throw that name in the hat. Time will tell.

Mum and baby are both said to be doing well, and both families are “delighted with the news”. And who didn’t see the resplendent Kate stepping out with Prince William to present the new Princess to the ever-adoring crowd. She looked fantastic for just having a baby…a mere ten hours earlier!

Wait a minute! Stop the presses! At ten hours postpartum when I gave birth to my son, I looked like I had been run over by a Mack truck. Putting on make up and doing my hair was the last thing on my mind…in fact, I was probably asleep. I had an emergency c-section, so I don’t even think I had my beauty products with me, much less a hairbrush or a change of clothes.

How did Kate do it? Did she have a “behind the scenes” team of beauty experts? Maybe she had a doula with a degree in cosmetology. I read once that some of our doula sisters in both Southern California and the Caribbean Islands are both hair and makeup stylists and doulas. Interesting career choices that I totally applaud. Or maybe she had just the birth she wanted and she was so pleased with her birthing experience that she was beaming. One British news site reported that Prince William was with Kate whilst she was delivering their daughter. I’m sure she appreciated his support. But I choose to believe she had a great doula by her side as well. Perhaps we will hear more details when we learn this little girl’s name.

So while all the world is abuzz with news of the Princess’s arrival, the quiet celebration of another princess was going on. You see, my princess, my little royal one, my baby girl, turned 18 on Tuesday of last week. This was her birthday weekend. She spent it at a concert with a friend Saturday night and out to dinner with her father and grandmother Sunday evening. No balloons, no goodie bags, party games, or even a big cake. She’s outgrown all of that now. She is now an “adult”, joining her brother who has been enjoying that status for over a year now. My babies are all grown up. Excuse me, I need to go grab some Kleenex.

When I was a young mother, by “young” I mean “new”, with two little people who were 18 months apart, I would occasionally have a day or two when I wished the two small clingy humans could make their own breakfast, dress themselves, go potty alone, or for that matter, let me go potty alone, and be a little less dependent on their tired Mumma.

I didn’t wish for tiny adults; just a little more self-sufficiency. Sometimes I would call my own mother and beg her to come over and entertain her two “cuddlebugs” so I could get some things done. Things like washing the dishes, making the beds, paying the bills, taking a shower without someone whipping open the shower curtain to say, “Guess what?” You know, the necessary things in life. Occasionally she would come over if her schedule allowed, but other times she’d say to me, “Hope, just relax. Things will get done eventually. Don’t rush things. They’ll be grown up and gone before you know it.”

Those words have been swirling around in my mind this past week. My princess is grown up. The little one that was once a “Mama’s girl”, hiding behind me if anyone said hello to her, has becoming an intelligent, talented, independent, beautiful young woman, who starting college (away from home) in the Fall. How did this happen? Where did the time go? Certainly I didn’t “rush” things; we enjoyed childhood as a journey, it was not a race for us. But time has a way of marching on…

So dear reader, you may be wondering why I am sharing this with you. Well, if you are reading this blog, you probably are a parent, a parent-to-be, or at least contemplating parenthood. I hope that you will take to heart my mother’s wise words; “Don’t rush things. They’ll be grown up and gone before you know it.” Just something to think about.

This weekend the world welcomed a new princess; and I said good bye to the little princess that was and hello to the wonderful young woman she has become. But in my heart, and hopefully hers, she’ll always be my princess for when she was about three years old, I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her reply was classic; “When I grow up, I want to be a big princess!”

Happy Birthday, Princesses. The world belongs to you.

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