Wednesday, June 13, 2012
It's that time of the week ~ when you get to say whatever you want and feel great about it because you know that enough people might pop by to support you from Shell's PYHO linky. Though I don't link up all the time, I'm relieved to know she's there, my bloggy friend, so I CAN if ever I want to.
Yesterday my daughter wanted to polish our nails. We eventually did it - which is only part of the story.
While waiting (ever-so-un-patiently) for me to do her nails for her, she decided that she wanted to do some magazine skimming. She decided that she wanted to tear out some pictures.
Typical 5-yo behavior, yes? Yes. I agree. It seems to be. And it surely is.
But her goal for the project she had in mind?
Write it enough times and it doesn't look like it's spelled correctly after a while.
What kind of pictures did she want? I asked her. She answered, 'Beauty pictures.'
I suppose a part of me held my breath. Would my child tear out pictures of women in dazzling dresses? With long, flowing hair? Pearly white teeth? Super high heels? What defines beauty for a beautiful five-year-old girl?
She started turning the pages. Pointing.
She found her beauty. My heart sunk. Just a drop.
Make-up of all kinds and colors.
So while I love that she adores the splashes of pink, purple and blue, and I appreciate her flair and style as she coordinates her multi-colored/patterned ensembles every morning, I flinched a little that her definition of beauty was ... is ... make-up.
We're talking nail polish, lipstick, perfume (perfume!?!), and more. And while I'm cool with her tearing out the pages that include Ellen DeGeneres as she exclaimed, 'That's YOUR girl!' (yes, yes it is), I worry what she is thinking. Where this comes from.
How does a child whose mother wears not one stitch of make-up AT ALL find that to be beauty?
I mean, seriously. I probably could stand to use a color or two on my eyes. And something more than the splash of gloss on my lips. Though admittedly I do sometimes use a shimmer that is a bit stronger. But not enough to define beauty. Where DOES this come from?
And then the thoughts flicker through my head. What is it that she thinks of when she tears these pages out? Is it color? Style? Fashion? Flair? Television? Celebrities? Dress-up? Does dress-up always include more than fun/funky clothes? I racked my brain a bit. Our dress-up bin is way more than the standard princess dresses. It includes things like baseball caps, sun hats, fake jewelry, random belts and bags, and whatever else she or I decided might work for her creative play.
We eventually polish her nails. Each finger (all ten!) a different color. Her toes a pretty *pink* that was more a summery coral. She felt beautiful. Even more so when I added the requested sparkle over each color. Perfect! She showed her dad. 'Look Daddy!' Walked back again to show off her toes. Nice, he said. She was happy enough. I had helped her feel beautiful, I supposed.
And then last night, as I lay next to her in bed giving her a few good night squeezes she hid her hands under the blanket. 'Momma?' (This is a new thing. A phase, perhaps? Either way - it intrigues me - her new name for me.)
Yes, I answered, snuggling close.
'Do you want to see my nails?'
Okay. Did they come off? She nodded. Her hands moved slowly. Did you PICK them off? Another nod. A huge giggle. I was slightly frustrated. It took no time at all to do her nails, but would I do them again and again if she was going to pick the polish off? Sigh. Perhaps.
But then a thought.
She took OFF the beauty. She didn't care.
All this beauty talk. These images. The colors. All of it added up to?
Sometimes kids like to think outside of their daily box. Sometimes they like beautiful things. Colors. Flashes of inspiration. Maybe it all looks like paint to her? She adores paint. More than this mom would like sometimes ... but I digress.
She took off the "beauty." It didn't matter. She's still beautiful.
And so am I.