I have very few memories of life before kindergarten. Every once in awhile, a memory will pop up and I'll piece together the who/what/where/and why - mostly, were my parents married at the time? And if they were, it's a memory for the pre-kindergarten file. That file is pretty bare.
This is why I was so surprised to realize that Prince Charles and Princess Diana were married in 1981 ... when I was only three years old. I remember so much about that wedding. The young princess, the nervous prince (now I realize he was more troubled than nervous), the cathedral that had a history and beauty like nothing I had ever seen before, the bagpipes, the music, the lucky flower girls and bridesmaids, and of course that dress. That train.
As a small female and a princess lover, I believed I loved Diana with the patriotism of any Englander. I followed her growth, celebrated her children, and mourned her death. I learned of her death when my alarm went off, in the comfort of my bedroom in my mom's house, and went to sleep that night as a freshman in college dorms. It was a somber day for many reasons.
I was blessed to go to England once in college, and again Joel and I were able to spend nearly 20 days traipsing along the Northumberland Coast of Scotland and England, riding the train through Alnwick, and spending nearly a week in London. Our train into Kings Cross Station, in London, was the first train in after the tragic terroristic bombings in July, 2005. We wept with England on that day, and only days later we rejoiced with England when they won the bid for the 2012 Olympics.
We submerged ourselves in a history older than anything we'd ever see back home, and left in love.
In the last six years, we've had more dreams and conversations about how on earth we can work it out that we can live for a time in England. There are lots of maybes and hopes, far into the future if this and that and one more thing were to ever happen. A pipe dream, some might say.
And then the light bulb went off. I have a daughter who is nearly 5. She is not only a princess lover, but loves - LOVES - a British accent. She is on her way toward loving England as much as I do, maybe even more. For as long as I can remember, we've played 'Princess Diana and her daughter Rosemary.' I've spent more 2 hour drives in the car where I've been forced to speak with a [horrible] British accent than I care to remember.
So with eager anticipation that perhaps someday our daughter will, say, study abroad (and of course we'll follow!), we've submerged ourselves in the news and documentaries surrounding William and Kate. The best part? Their wedding is on her 5th birthday. As if turning 5 isn't a big enough deal, Rosemary feels all this pageantry definitely has something to do with her.
And who am I to argue with that?