Back When I Was Queen

Long ago, in a land far away, I was once a queen.

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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?

Dan: Yes.

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?

Dan: Radioactive.

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?

Dan: MUCH.

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.

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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.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Back When I Was Queen

  1. Oh my gosh. Danny is such a character! And I would love to see you wearing your crown on a regular basis.

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  2. M'Liss Dorrance

    “Heart leaping out of chest” is exactly right, Your Highness! I’m there with you, despite the lack of a crown!

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  3. Barbara Merrill

    Thank you for this article. For years I put on my tiara and wore it around the house just for fun, and my mom would chuckle. Then when I finally got a daughter I would let her wear it for fun. She loved it. She never questioned why I had one until years later when she was a teen. To her, I was a queen and she was a princess, so we had a crown. Simple child’s logic. It is now battered and tarnished but well-loved, and rests safely in a box of treasured memorabilia. But more importantly, my daughter has a strong understanding and belief in her value as a Daughter of God, and cherishes womanhood.

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  4. Liza Wilson

    That was so delightful!!!!

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  5. Britney Mendel

    I really hope I see you waving and wearing your crown in your van! Thanks for this reminder 🙂

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  6. Laura

    Hi! I stumbled onto your blog from a different website. (You know how that can happen sometimes when your husband isn’t home and you’re avoiding putting kids to bed . . . ) Anyway, I realized that I went to the same high school as your husband. I went to school with his sister Holly. Anyway, I love your writing, and it was fun to stumble across a little connection to home.

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  7. Love it! I can totally relate. My kids could care less about my glory days, and they seem utterly shocked every time I am asked to sing in sacrament meeting, lol!

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