For a few days in July of 2013 I was glued to the television and live feeds online to catch the first glimpse of Prince George. My husband put up with it because a) he loves me and b) while waiting to find out the gender, I made both blue and pink cookies to take to work and he got to eat the pink ones. While my husband’s own birthday celebrations yesterday meant I couldn’t follow the coverage in the same way this year, I am currently in the middle of making pink cookies for work tomorrow.
I unashamedly love all things royal. Being at the right age that I could have theoretically married either English prince probably helps. You “grow up” with them, but in a different way than pop or movie stars. They didn’t spend high school on a tour bus, or in exotic locations filming movies. They actually went to high school. Sure, it was a private, expensive one, but you know their lives were probably much closer to “normal” than Justin Bieber or Britney Spears.
So as we all grow up, it’s fun to note when things in my life sometimes seem similar to William and Kate’s: I studied art history at college, my husband is a few months younger than me, we got married on the 29th of the month, our baby boy was born in July . . . Okay, so maybe that’s it! Though tere’s also the whole “outsider coming into a situation governed by rules that are hard to adapt to” that I could compare to being an expatriate, but I’m pretty sure Kate had to deal with slightly more complicated things than bises and apéros. (But still, the stress over behaving correctly at the first family dinner had to be similar, right?)
Having had my baby boy in the intervening year between royal babies, it was interesting to see how my reaction had changed this time around. In 2013, I remember thinking “Gahh, whyyy is this taking so long?? Why isn’t she coming out yet?? Where is he?!”
Yesterday afternoon, it was more along the lines of “Holy cow, the baby was born less than three hours after getting to the hospital? She must be relieved it didn’t last ages!” and “What?! They’re leaving today?? Doesn’t she want to rest with someone else to clean and cook and . . . oh, yeah, she already has that.” And while I am maybe a tiny bit jealous how good she looked, despite knowing she has a team of people to help, I do feel bad for her, that she had to face the world so soon. I remember being a little annoyed when my mother-in-law came by the hospital the same day bébé was born, because it meant having to look fairly presentable and not do anything too embarrassing that showed her I didn’t 100% have things under control. (Basically Sunday lunch at her house, but with a lot more pain in unmentionable places.) So I imagine Kate maybe felt like that, just multiplied by a thousand.
She does give the impression that giving birth is easy, and maybe it is for her. Mine was certainly far from horrible, though it’s not something I’d want to do every day. With all the tests and stuff new babies have to do, how much they sleep the first few days, and a helpful husband on hand, there totally would have been time for me to see a team of stylists, had one been available. Plus, this is her second time around so she knew what to expect, what to pack, which clothes would feel best . . . There are plenty of other people who will tell you the horror stories of birth, but sometimes things go really well and you feel great, and that’s fine too!
Honestly, it’s just like Facebook, where new moms meticulously scrutinise which post-birth picture to post first. As silly/superficial/whatever people may find it, it’s actually a good thing to care so much, because it means everyone is healthy and you can focus on the superficial, silly stuff. (Whether or not it “should” matter is an entirely different conversation I am not in the mood to discuss while my pink princess cookies are baking!)
While I don’t intend to be a copy-Kate and give my husband a little princess anytime soon, it will be fun to see our kids “grow up together.” And who knows, maybe bébé’s future wife was born yesterday . . . After all, the Middletons didn’t start their business until Kate was a few years old, so we still have some time to work on getting a coat of arms!