I was 15, spending extended time away from my family and enjoying the best time of my life.
That was also the summer Prince William was born.
I remember speculating with friends what the name of the new prince might be. I also remember thinking that Princess Diana was only six years older than me and she was already a mother. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around that fact.
I came from a family of what I now refer to as “late breeders.” My grandmother was in her thirties when she had my mother, and my mother was 28 when she had me. At the time, that was older than most of my friend’s parents. I was 31 when I had my son, my first child.
That’s the same age Kate and William are.
And as I watch the news about the birth of their first son, I can’t help but think how different their lives as new parents are from my life at that same age and same stage of life.
They don’t have to worry about having enough money to raise a child, having appropriate child care or ensuring their child has access to a good education.
And yet, I had so much they don’t have.
I had privacy. I had the opportunity to make mistakes without the scrutiny of the press. And I could give my child the option of choosing his own future.
Yesterday watching the news, my daughter asked, “How can they go through nine months and still not have a name?”
I tried to explain to her that, traditionally, the royal family doesn’t immediately name their babies, but she wasn’t impressed and simply had more questions. Since I’ve asked those same questions, I couldn’t provide an answer.
Instead, I thought about my own children.
My husband and I chose both of their names well before they were born, but we didn’t share them with anyone. We just didn’t want people wrinkling their nose or expressing their opinions.
With my son, we said we were debating between Fyvush Finkle and Deuteronomy but were leaning toward Deuteronomy because our son could go by the nickname “Dute,” a nod to my husband’s tendency to call everyone “dude.”
People were so surprised, they usually couldn’t manage a response, and I recommend the same strategy for William and Kate as they ponder the perfect name of their son.
I also recommend they enjoy every minute of being new parents as the time speeds by so quickly.
This summer, my son is now the 15-years old and also watching the world celebrate the birth of an heir to the British throne. He, like I did at 15, is also hearing the speculation about a name.
I can’t help but appreciate the synchronicity and the reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Things like babies and the joy of new parents.