Just Write

April 28, 2015

I watch the kids through the kitchen window, out front. Yesterday, the boys were playing with our neighbor friend, who is ten and a girl and she can kick booty with all the boy rough make believe games. They stood in a circle, their backs to each other, and would each count to ten, one at a time, and take off running. Asher went first, because he said he couldn’t run as fast as the older two. Then the other two went, one after the other,

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10,

I’m going!

They ran away, around one house or the other, to try to get back before the others. I have no idea why, but they were Avengers.

These are the random things I witness that cause some sort of explosion of love for them down deep. I smiled and wanted to cry for some reason, but kept making tacos instead. I have to be quick because I feel like watching out the window isn’t enough, I want to be out there with them, in weather like this, and not to miss anything.

Elsie is always so tired by this time, in this period of still needing a nap but not napping. She is almost four. I have no idea how that happened. It has gone slow-fast, as every childhood does. But anyway, she’s tired. And maybe some of it has to do with the hole in her heart that’s about to be fixed, I don’t know. The doctor says they usually see quite a difference, from fatigue to energy, after closing the hole. They see relief for the child. I hope that’s the case for my Elsie Jane.

May 4th.

At bedtime, she was all amped up in that over-tired way, and I had to take a big purple ball from her because we were supposed to be settling in with books. She cried hard, like I had taken her favorite object that ever was. It’s okay, Elsie…you just need rest for your body.

We read a book and she did that thing where she knew what some of the pages say before I read them. She would look at me with her big blue eyes like, CHECK ME OUT, I ROCK. So I told her that she does.

Earlier, while standing up on the step stool at the bathroom sinking for the brushing of the teeth, she had stared long at herself in the mirror, made some faces. Then she shocked me with a question I’m still pondering, because three year olds should not be concerned, should they?

Am I beautiful, Mommy?

Of course you are, Elsie. Every part of you is beautiful, inside and out.

She smiled at herself in the mirror, made more faces.

What’s your favorite part that you see? I asked.

She looked and looked, unsure and studying…

My hair!

Oh I love your hair, too! And all the rest, everything is beautiful just like it is. Because even though her hair is always cut a bit wonky, her bangs snipped by me or my mom, crooked and straight across, her hair really is awesome.

I ponder this conversation because I want to worry. We shouldn’t focus on outward appearance…I shouldn’t teach her this….

But she is seeing…she is questioning…

She is right here in the mirror, and it’s so natural to wonder, to start the questions that bring insecurity. It came to her to do this not because of magazines or ads, we don’t even have TV. Sure, our culture is swamped with messages, and they have their effect whether I know they are or not. But maybe telling her now will plant the seeds. None of that matters, because her insides and her outsides are so good just as they are. I don’t tell her this by getting her clothes and hair just right, or focusing on those things with myself so much that she sees it. I’m quite a frump and I don’t mind. I let her dress herself in whatever mismatched tomboy uniform she chooses for the day. Sometimes she picks pink dresses. Mostly she could care less.

That is most certainly beautiful. My heart swelled despite the pondering, because this too is a chance to watch a messy unfolding, as we all do, learning life and its games. My heart should swell through it all because I have the chance to be here for them, in every part.


This is the 185th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {New here? Please see the details.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page. (Then link back to this post in your Just Write post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.) (Any links not following those two guidelines will be deleted.)

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{ 1 comment }

Alissa @ The Illiterate Author April 28, 2015 at 2:12 pm

This was so good. Glad you’re showing her beauty is just s important inside as out.

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