I Have an Overprotective Mother.

In addition to Dylan’s multitude of challenges, he also has many gifts – one of which is a spectacular singing voice. And he’s got a great memory for lines and lyrics.

As a result, Dylan has the male lead in the middle school musical, Once Upon a Mattress. It is the story of “The Princess and The Pea,” in musical form. Dylan plays Prince Dauntless, a flop-of-a-fellow whose overbearing mother, the queen, makes his arranged marriage all but impossible.

At the dress rehearsal, Shane and I went to the school to film the show.

The stage crew was testing microphones. “Dylan,” a voice called, “just talk normally until we get your level.”

Dylan said, “Hi, um… I’m Prince Dauntless.” He was in full dress, gold crown shimmering in the spotlight.

I was in the audience, tears already glistening in my eyes at my beloved child’s voice.

“I have an overprotective mother,” Dylan said.

My jaw dropped. Why is he talking about me? I wondered.

“Well, to say that she’s overprotective would be an understatement,” he said.

Why is he suddenly blurting out all this personal stuff? I shrieked in my head. Is it just because he can get away with it?

He continued, “As a matter of fact, I hope she’s not listening because then I’ll probably get a five-minute lecture from her. Because my mother talks all the time. She never, ever stops talking.”

My jaw was on the floor.

The voice called again, “Okay, Dylan, thanks.”

Dylan hopped off the stage and started to run out.

“Thanks a lot, Dylan!” I yelled after him, hoping to invoke laughter from the other parents. But no one even breathed in my direction.

It wasn’t until midway through the rehearsal that I realized what had happened. I watched the queen on stage, ranting and raving as Dylan stood idly beside her. The realization knocked the breath out of me.

Dylan wasn’t talking about me, I thought. Prince Dauntless was talking about his mother, the queen.

On our way home, I asked Shane about the mic-check experience: “Did you know Dylan was talking about the queen?”

“Yeah,” said Shane.

“At first, I thought he was talking about me,” I said, guffawing at the error of my ways.

Shane didn’t laugh.

Finally he said, “But it could have been about you. I mean, you do talk a lot and you probably would give Dylan a long lecture if he said that stuff.”

Shane paused, to see how I would react to his minor attack on my character.

“Yes, it could have been about me,” I said, still laughing. “It definitely could have been about me.”

Which is not really funny. Not funny at all.

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