My Most Beautiful Thing (A Blogsplash)

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.

my son

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?

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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.

Kids, Art, and Plums

You may have read this over at writing in the water, but I’m covering all my bases.

My art at The Plum Tree

I’m now Head of Art for Youth-Tube at Plum Tree Books. We’re calling for submissions for art by children under 12.

If you’re interested in knowing more, email me at

marta (at) youth-tube (dot) co (dot) uk

We’d also love for you to visit the site, follow it, tweet it, fb it, or otherwise show your support. Thank you.

Remember, art is cool. And so are kids.

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P.S. Please note the Plum Tree has several other projects in the works–poetry, fiction, music, and photography. Go see for yourself.

The Friendship Obituaries

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?