Monday, October 25, 2010

Pretty and Witty and Bright!

The other day I had a little yard sale, and while the lovely couple not pictured in these photos debated whether to buy two antique nightstands and a coffee table for the low, low price of $75, I stole some great shots of my girl.

It was her second change of clothes that day-only my child spills pizza sauce on her white blouse on School Picture Day and requires a substitute outfit. Is it weird that I didn't even pack pizza in her lunch? No, it was definitely a turkey sandwich. With no pizza sauce. Hmmm. Better release that one to the universe.

Speaking of unsolved mysteries, I watched on YouTube last night a woman in a poetry slam speak (slam?) about "pretty": the word and the way it controls us. I can't really do justice to her fiery genius, but the basic point was....there's more to life than pretty, and we'd better hope our children can claim a happy, whole self apart from their ability to attain what is, in truth, mythical beauty. Whoa-am I being graded for this?

Anyway,  I was so down with what she was saying (slamming?) that I watched it twice-but afterward thought about how "pretty" is sometimes just...there, to behold. Especially in children. It's beauty, really. Unabashed joy. I look at these and think: happy. But the first words out of my mouth are usually something to do with the physical. I'm not necessarily inclined to exclaim how clever she is at swinging, or what a great imagination it takes to fathom the complicated game "Chicada": an exercise involving a real broom, pretend pinata, and the song Crocodile Rock. It's more of a chore to look for the stuff inside-the silly quirks and real strengths of character that make her beauty greater than what's on the surface.

So I guess it's not a mystery. It is an Unsolved, though. Something I want desperately to Not Mess Up. My biggest fear in this is that I'll blink and she'll be 13, staring woefully at a mirror-image that's been distorted by puberty, boys-with-no-soul, or even And I'll be all, "Wait! Wasn't there something about pretty I was supposed to remember?"

 Hopefully I can do enough accidental good to round out the mess-ups.

 We sure do have fun together...

Pretty or not.


Anonymous said...

I sure miss this cutie pie!! She is more than pretty - we all know it!
I can't wait for her to be 13 ( :

Kjrsten said...

I love this post! LOVE!

It's beautiful, and smart! :)