Long ago, in a land far away, I was once a queen.
I come from a long line of queens, actually. My mother was a rodeo queen and Miss Malibu (don’t you just love the sound of that? Miss Malibuuuuu) and my aunt was BYU’s Homecoming Queen. My other aunts and sisters were all royalty of one sort or another, and my nieces are carrying on the tradition. My claim to fame was that I was Miss Ricks College.
Wait. You’ve never heard of Ricks College?
That is because they changed their name. Now it is BYU-Idaho. It is a lot bigger, and more glorious. And they don’t do pageants.
But that is okay, because I was also Idaho’s Jr. Miss.
Oh . . . you’ve never heard of that either?
That is because they don’t call it Jr. Miss anymore. It is “Distinguished Young Woman.”
Yes, it is sad to say, but although I was royal for two moments in my life it doesn’t even matter since both titles are now obsolete. Not even my kids are impressed. In fact, they know very little about how amazing I used to be. Here is a recent example.
Me: (Singing Maria from West Side Story in the kitchen) Maria, I just met a girl named Maria…
Dan: Mom, please stop singing.
Me: Why not? Don’t you like this song?
Dan: I don’t like your voice.
Me: Oh. Am I a bad singer?
Me: Danny, did you know that I am actually a very good singer? And that I used to sing in front of thousands of people? And when I was finished they would clap?
Dan: (with doubtful expression) Really?
Me: And people gave me awards!
Dan: (even more doubtful expression) Are you sure?
Me: Yes! Okay. What if I sang something else?
Dan: Please. No more Maria music.
Me: What would you like me to sing?
Me: I’m wakin’ up to ash and dust, wipe my brow and sweat my rust . . .
Dan: (plugging his ears in agony)
Me: Am I embarrassing you?
Dan: Yes. Maybe you should whistle instead.
Me: Okay. (whistling) Is that better?
So since my talents go unappreciated and my crown is in a box, I’ve decided to auction off my crown at my upcoming family reunion (it is a family auction to raise money for future family reunions).
Still, when I take it out of the box, I remember those big, shining moments on stage, singing into the hot lights, making my parents proud. Especially my dad. When I became Homecoming Queen my dad bought a new suit just so he could walk me out on to the football field.
It drove my mom crazy when she and my father would watch me perform because my dad did not watch me, instead he turned around in his seat with a big smile on his face, preferring to watch the people behind him, while they watched me.
But times have changed. I found this illustration in a magazine when my girls were babies and it has hung in my kitchen ever since.
I love it because my children are my crown now.
And now, as my children get older and more proficient in their own talents, it is me that is turning around in my seat, watching the audience watch my kids.
When I was a teenager my heart would beat like a hammer before performances. But now, as I watch my children perform my heart doesn’t just beat. It leaps out of my chest. It swells. It is painful and glorious at the same time.
I much prefer watching now.
I guess I could wear my crown when I do dishes or vacuum. Maybe I should wear it when I drive The Great Van of Happiness. I could wave at other drivers. Howdy, folks.
They say that every girl is a princess, so it stands to reason that every woman must be a queen. So how come no one ever says that?
Well I’m saying it. We are all queens. Queens of our homes. Queens to our husbands. Queens of our families. Queens of our lives.
So maybe at the auction I might just buy my crown back.
You’ll know if you drive up next to me and see me waving at you from my van.