“I wanted to protect you.”
That’s what my husband answered when I asked him why he insisted on going as we crawled into bed at 3:15 a.m. after a very long trip to get one of the kids back to his university after Christmas break. (His car’s transmission chose Christmas break as the time to hand in its resignation.)
Instead of making the trip by myself on Thursday with maybe a layover until the return trip on Friday, we made the whole thing on the day some touchy weather hit. A trip including a bit of snow, slippery roads, numerous cars in the ditch, and a very exciting episode of a big, beautiful truck right in front of us spinning every which way made for a longer than anticipated drive. You want to know about the truck? I was the driver at the time, and after it had come to a rather breath-taking stop, and I had avoided even a hint of a connection between our two vehicles and driven around it as it faced sideways, there was a traumatized silence in the car from my husband and son. I pumped my fist and yelled “Yea, Mom!”. Motherhood has taught me that sometimes you have to thank yourself if others near and dear are slow to do so.
I’ve been thinking about my husband’s answer (given by someone who in the dead of night, despite loud tromping sounds and glass shattering would insist it was only the wind) and have concluded that definitions from the dictionary aren’t necessarily the ones we use in real life.
Who was the prince who fought through the briars to get to his princess? Was it the guy in Sleeping Beauty? Raise your hand if that’s been your experience. However, all my life I’ve watched my dad pull the car up to the door of wherever my parents happened to be, and go around to open the car door for my mom. All my life I’ve watched this. Even when I started filling the role of chauffeur and my dad had to resort to using a walker, he’d still pull the car door open for my mom, one hand on the walker and one on the door. That’s kind of a princely thing to do, isn’t it?
What about the prince in your life who keeps your gas tank filled (no, really, I’ve heard of that happening), or carries your very heavy sleeping toddler as you walk through the mall, or mows the lawn after a long day at work? I heard of a guy who was too exhausted to keep driving and pulled into the rest area so his wife could take the wheel. He instantly fell asleep, his tired wife drove around the rest area, woke him up and told him it was his turn again. And when, miles down the road, what she’d done finally dawned on him, he didn’t blink – he just kept driving. Just to be clear – it wasn’t me. Do you think a fellow with a farmer’s tan who keeps going despite his own exhaustion is in truth more of a prince than the animated hero of great fairy tales?
I very often feel like a princess. Her name was Cinderella before she had those glass slippers. The castle where you live might not have servants. It probably doesn’t have servants. Okay, it doesn’t have servants. But there’s something to be said for good intentions and doing what we can despite not having a white horse or ball gown.
Often the protective thing to do is to be there just in case. Thanks for protecting me, honey. You’re a prince!
Image: en.wikipedia.org Cinderella_1950_Disney”Cinderella 1950 Disney” by Walt Disney – Original Trailer (1950). Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cinderella_1950_Disney.jpg#/media/File:Cinderella_1950_Disney.jpg