You tried to reach your friend, Finley, yesterday. She texted back later and said her son was home from college and that they were hanging around, waiting for him to wake up. He finally crawled out of bed at the crack of noon.
“My son is home from college, too,” you text back. “And we’re doing the same thing, tiptoeing around like …he’s the prince of Siam.” Even your dog was creeping around quietly–in wait for ‘his boy’ to awaken and play with him.
You had risen early and set out an immense breakfast, fit for a king. Now, what to do? Mill around the house, sneaking glances at your watch. You don’t DARE get involved in any activity that would take you away from your boy when he wakes.
The prince arrived Friday night in his black Toyota chariot. He knew exactly– in the manner of a prince–what he wanted for dinner both nights.
“Filet steaks, my liege?” you inquire about the menu to give to the staff of two (you and your husband). “Ye olde Yukon gold potatoes and haricot verts? Les Oreos for dessert?”
“Nope,” he replied. “Chinese take-out, please.”
“Yes, m’ lord.”
Note to Self: YOU are the one who is acting like he is a prince. He does not have any princely affectations on his own. After hauling his Target laundry bag in the back door–the size of a football tackle-dummy–and squeezin’ the stuffin’ out of you, he stuffs the washing machine full of his Underarmour and denim regalia and starts a load. All hail!
Slowly it sinks in that you treated your daughter the exact same way when she used to come home from college. Still do, when she flies in–albeit rarely– from her workaday life.
“Chicken salad on cracked wheat, m’lady?” you ask, whisking in a tray. She is buried in her laptop–logging straight hour # five– working from home.
“Thank you!” she mouths with her sweet smile underneath headphones for her conference/webinar thingy.
After ordering General Tso’s chicken and various and sundry lo meins, the prince serves himself and retreats into the living room.
“Thanks, Mom. Hey–can I just be alone and relax for a little bit?”
The prince. Alone. With no secret service and body-guards? You come back down to earth and reckon that he does live in a dorm, and he is embroiled in second semester Freshman year, and needs to simply re-charge his batteries. Chill. In front of flatscreen, laying on ye olde sofa.
“Give me three questions,” you say, daring treason. He grins and puts the Tivo-ed version of Sports Center on pause.
“How are your suitemates getting along? Have you met any more cute tutors? And…how’s Biology?”
“Great, yeah, fine,” he says, staring at the ESPN Sportscasters–their mouths frozen wide open, ready to speak. (Your interview is so over).
After a second night dinner of Mexican take-out (your insides cringe–what about a home-cooked meal?) you follow him into the family room.
“Mom, you’re like, shadowing me.”
“Yes, well, I am allowed to stalk my own offspring,” you reply briskly.
Finally, the prince rides off in his chariot Sunday afternoon and you give a royal wave good-bye. You sigh, and invite neighbors over to fill the void.
“How was your weekend?” Elizabeth asks.
“Well, the prince of Siam was home again,” you sigh.
“Lovely, how is he?”
You stop for a second. “Elizabeth, if he’s the prince of Siam, and our daughter is the princess, does that make me…”
“Yes, sweetie, that makes you and your husband–the King and Queen.”