Tuesday, May 28, 2013

your heart is your beauty

Life seems to be a whirlwind of time, picking up the details and stealing them, pushing us along to scoop up what fun we can along the way.

On Friday, I headed out to a party at my friend, Erin's.  Before we left, Ruby had worn her hipster glasses - silly black glasses that make her look like the most lovable nerd I have ever seen.  She loves them, and they happened to be near, so I asked her if she wanted to wear them to go out.  She started to say yes, then quickly shook her head.  I was terrified of the words I thought were coming.  I asked her why she didn't want to wear them, and her words were like ice.  They won't think I look good.

It took concentration to keep my jaw in place, to keep the tears in check.  After an emotional day, I was horrified that my four-and-a-half year old was suddenly aware of the perceptions of others.  I set my stuff down, and grabbed her arms.  I asked her to look at me, and trying my hardest not to sound desperate or lecture-like, I began talking.

I hope she never forgets that moment as I looked into her worried eyes, as she looked into my sad and passionate ones.  If I teach my children only one thing, I want them to show love to everyone - the people that are hateful, the people that can't give them love or anything else in return, the people that are different than them, and the ones that are the same.  I told Ruby it didn't matter what anyone else thought about her - she can wear the things that make her happy.  And most of all, it doesn't matter to anyone what she looks like, because it's the love she shows others that makes her beautiful.  I left the choice to her, and she decided she would wear them.

As we walked to Erin's house, I asked Ruby what she might say if someone thought her glasses looked funny.  She said something so admirable, I will remember it forever:  It's okay if you don't like them because I think they're cool.  Then: Right, Mom?

That's right, sweet girl.  Remember that for the rest of your life.

As I told her that she had one of the best hearts of anyone I know, she listened carefully and replied, "Thanks, mom."

The tears came later.  And boy did they come.  It's like a sliver of her innocence has been stolen; her thinking slightly less simplistic.  That is completely heart-breaking, but I know it's just life.  I know this is normal; I have heard the stories of others just like her, only I have always been so grateful that she seemed naive next to her peers.  Like the rest of motherhood, I hope I handled it in terms of what is best suited to her, because it was certainly the best way that I knew how.

A wake up call of sorts - her little thoughts are actually big thoughts and quite complex.  To watch the things I place emphasis on, most importantly the materialistic and shallow things.

Little eyes are watching, little ears are listening.

I was so excited when Elena asked me to guest blog about photography on her blog this week - you can find her blog here - my post will be up on Thursday.

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