Friday, July 26, 2013

Flower Girls

As a Leader-In-Training this year at camp, Jacob has become very popular among the younger campers. And as a leader-in-training-in-training, Ben has been along for the ride, gaining popularity in his own right.

Sometime during the first week of camp, Jacob was given the nickname "Blue Flowers" by a clutch of little girls, mostly 6- and 7-year-olds. Jacob wouldn't tell me the story behind the nickname, but ever since then, he has been greeted enthusiastically each morning as "Blue Flowers!" by this group of girls.

One day not long after this, Ben got off the bus to shouts of "Bye, Green Flowers!" by this same group of girls. It's adorable and makes me smile, even though it reminds me every day how much older my kids are than the campers and, subsequently, how old I am.

The last few days, however, I have felt more like a chauffer to a rock band. As we pulled into the parking lot one morning, I could see the group of girls near our usual spot, as if staking it out, waiting for my boys to arrive. To test my theory, I pulled past the spot and into another one and, sure enough, they all came running in a group shouting, "Blue Flowers! Green Flowers!". I was half waiting for them to start rocking the car. And the day when I drove my husband's car, they didn't recognize it at all, and practically came screaming when they saw the boys in the back seat.

Today was the best though: as I parked the car, they were shouting for the boys. As I put it in park and they gathered their things in the back seat, the shouts became a chant: "Blue Flowers! Blue Flowers! Green Flowers! Green Flowers!" I offered Jacob a pen so he could sign autographs when he got out, and for a split second, it felt like they were climbing out of a limo into a throng of adoring fans.

I would never wish that kind of fame on anyone--watching the royal couple this week and all the attention the new prince garnered before he'd even arrived was a perfect example of a life that will never be "normal". Ben smiles at the girls' escapades, but is essentially shy and a bit sheepish about all the attention, as I would be.

Jacob, on the other hand, blooms in the spotlight. He was singing on stage when he was five, and has loved having an audience ever since. It's easy to see he welcomes these displays, a daily chance to be admired and revered, even if he's unwilling to reveal the backstory of his fame to me.

While I would never want my kids to be hounded by fans or paparazzi, if it were a side effect of Jacob's dream job, I wouldn't begrudge him. Who knows? Such a thing might make him nostalgic for his early days of fame, the days when everyone knew and loved him by his stage name, "Blue Flowers".

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