What is beauty?
Don’t we seem obsessed with beauty in all the wrong ways?
When my mother would tell me I was pretty, I didn’t believe her. “You’re my mother. You have to say that.”
Now I’m a mother, and I look at my son and think, “Wow. He’s beautiful.” I don’t know if the rest of the world sees him that way, but his beauty is all I can see.
But all children are beautiful to me. I see how I failed to appreciate this when I was young–how beautiful young people are. We should waste less time worrying about beauty when we are young. Well, when we are any age.
It’s a cliche for a mother to say how beautiful her child is. What is that expression? A face only a mother could love. Perhaps. Though I think there is enough evidence that for some mothers even beauty isn’t enough for love.
My son is beautiful. A few months ago he saw a movie where an orphan boy’s dog died. My son cried. “Mom,” he said. “That dog was all that boy had.” He went over to our oldest dog, then 15, now 16, and hugged him. “We have to let him now we love him,” he said, crying. My son wouldn’t let go of the dog for a long time. I was so upset that I’d stupidly allowed my son to see this movie, but…isn’t it good to see that our children feel? I knew that. I’d seen him feel many times of course. But still, my eight year old felt compassion.
That was beautiful. Don’t you think?
I’m participating in a My Most Beautiful Thing blogsplash. It seemed like fun. The idea comes from Writing Our Way Home. If you go there, you’ll find other links, other people, worth following. You’ll find other beautiful things.
Some friendships I’ve ended intentionally. Haven’t you?
I was 14 and I sent a note to a friend explaining that I couldn’t be her friend anymore. The reason for this valiant behavior? She’d discovered boys and sneaking out and smoking.
I’d been through that with a cousin, and I knew that if my friend was sneaking out with boys, those boys would be around even when they were allowed to be.
They’d be the kind of boys who encouraged girls to sneak out at night.
I wrote her that I wanted to stay out of trouble and that we were too young for smoking and boys. She never wrote back. She must’ve thought me a prude. But I wanted my life to go a particular way and that way didn’t include being derailed by boys.
She never spoke to me again.
Have you ever purposely ended a childhood friendship?
Do you remember the first friendship to die?
We were in the 2nd grade and the murder was accidental. Or at least, I hadn’t considered the consequences of my actions.
In the lunch line I kissed a boy on top of his head. He was short with blue black hair and big blue eyes. I was the tallest kid in the class.
He was horrified.
My best friend, S., was angry. She liked him too, and the two of them were the same height.
S did eventually speak to me again, but the friendship died. I didn’t understand why she was so mad. It wasn’t as if the boy had then suddenly decided he liked me!
The last I remember of S was our sophomore year in high school. We hadn’t spoken in years and I saw in her the hallway. She was pregnant.
We never did speak again.
But in the 2nd grade we were best friends.
Do you remember your first best friend?