We stood in line at the fabric counter, waiting to obtain a few yards of ribbon. My very talkative three-year-old sat in the cart, eating Skittles and telling me his “stories.”
As we waited, I fielded comments from fellow customers (“He sure has a lot to say.” “How old is he?” “Does he always talk this much?”) The usual.
“Mommy,” my chatterbox said, eagerly. “I’m going to be a farmer for Halloween.”
“Yes. And, what’s your brother going to be?”
“And, Mommy… what are you going to be for Halloween?”
“I don’t know. What do you think I should be?”
I immediately regretted the question. We were surrounded by onlookers, and I realized I’d just given my son an open invitation to embarrass me in front of my peers.
I braced myself, expecting to be labeled “a witch” or “a monster”—his most recent Halloween-themed fascinations.
But instead, my sweet son replied:
“I think you should be a princess, because you already are one.”
Cue the warm fuzzies.
I was both relieved and touched. My son thinks I’m a princess.
He doesn’t care that I’m running on little sleep. Or, that I’m super stressed. Or, that I had an anxiety attack just an hour before.
He doesn’t care that my hair is plastered with dry shampoo. Or, that my jeans are a week overdue for laundering. Or, that our messy house is far from royal.
I’m still a princess. At least, to him.
In the coming days, I remembered this.
When another project joined the pile of work on my plate, I lifted my chin. I’m a princess. I can do this.
When that same child had an accident and screamed from the bathroom that—and I quote—”there’s poop everywhere,” I just laughed. I’m a princess. This is part of my job.
When I couldn’t sleep because of the growing list of to-dos and anxieties, I took a deep breath. “I’m a princess. It can wait.”
We’re all princesses.
Sure, we don’t get to wear tiaras without judgement or retire to our palaces at the end of a long day. But, we do have the opportunity to carry ourselves with grace and power.
We don’t lead a nation, but we lead our children. We may not have our own driver, chef, or paparazzi. But, what we do have is so much more—unconditional love, super powers, and full hearts.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how we look. What we’ve done. Or, how many piles of laundry we’ve ignored.
To our kids, we are princes, princesses, and queens.