How Kate Middleton Invaded My Week

“She’s a real princess?” gasped the Bear as she clutched the Hello Canada magazine with the full page spread of Kate Middleton. The Bear eyed Kate carefully, studiously examining the photos. Then, in the way mothers of teenage boys must feel when they discover certain reading material, I found the magazine preciously stored under the Bear’s pillow.

We do not usually have these sorts of magazines in the house. For whatever reason, my father jokingly brought the Hello Canada magazine into our home – purportedly for me to keep up on pop culture. We are also NOT the parents of ‘princess’ type girls. I vigilantly keep the pink and frills to a minimum. So it was interesting to find the Bear completely smitten with a soon-to-be princess.

It was not Kate Middleton that I took issue with. As far as celebrity worship goes, Kate is probably about as wholesome as it gets. But I did start to wonder about what it was exactly that the Bear was so enamored with. My feminist side took hold. Was this the beginning of her ‘princess’ years that so many parents had warned me about? Or did Kate represent the beginning of the Bear’s interest with the popular look? Was Kate going to be all about image to the Bear and nothing of substance?

As I overly worried about what this moment meant, MJ advised me to ask the Bear point blank.

“I like how the artist did the picture,” she explained.

“You mean, the photographer?” I asked.

“Yes, the way the photograph was taken. It’s really clever,” replied the Bear.

And I looked at the series of photos again. It was Kate at a pancake breakfast. The photographer had caught moment where Kate successfully flipped a pancake – the breakfast food in midair.

MJ looked at me triumphantly. Princess Kate in her designer jacket and styled hair meant nothing to the Bear. I had been caught in a moment of projecting of my fears.

This has left me wondering many other times I have inferred the wrong meaning from my children’s actions. How many times have we construed adult meaning from innocent childhood activities? Perhaps surmising that a little boy has a ‘girlfriend’ when they are really just kids who like each other. Or when we joke about a little girl’s love of clothes and drape her interest in an adult language with stereotypes about women and clothing. When really, all kids like to play dress up.

I guess, sometimes, we need to just ask the kids.

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