Nov. 20, 2014

Thus the name...

My eye was drawn to you as I sat on the splintered bench at the edge of the park.  Charmed by your sweet face I took note of the blush of your lips from the sticky kiss of the lollipop you had delighted in just moments before.  The constellation of freckles gently placed across the bridge of your nose, the proud signature of the Creator of the universe, drew me to your tiny elfin face.   Your tangerine orange tights perfectly offset by a bright pink tutu spoke to the girl in me who was once a believer in fairy tales and possibilities and your unlaced converse high tops and the snapback taming your blond curls spoke to my rebellious spirit.  Like you, I suspect, I am a dichotomy of both the sweet confectionary pink of the tulle that hugged your tiny waist and the well-worn black and red fabric hat that sat atop your head.

My day had not gone as planned and at only 10:34 am I found myself as frayed and muddied as the wood upon which I sat.  It was all I could do at that moment, that infinitesimal piece of time, to breathe.   I watched you spin and twirl with abandon and I heard the sweet sound of a familiar children’s song set to the tune and the tempo of a melody all your own, and I smiled to myself as you discovered a tiny green tree frog half buried in the dirt beneath the swing set.   With the gentleness of a new mother but the fearlessness of a warrior you set about to rescue the tiny creature plucking it from certain death and setting its world right again on the perfect tree just to the left of the slide.  I listened as you directed the little boys with whom you played where to go and how to go about the going, and I wondered to myself if you had ever been called “bossy” or told to “be sweet” and I bristled at the thought of taming the pure passion and assuredness with which you spoke.  And then you turned, and for a brief moment your wide green eyes met mine. As the corner of your lips began to lift in a welcoming smile it occurred to me that there were lessons I wanted to share with you before the world had a chance to intervene.  And so sweet child at the playground in your snapback and tutu, this is for you.

  1.  When the universe throws you a curveball, and I’m certain it will, stretch your hands open wide and with all of the strength you can muster CATCH IT!  Your instinct will be to turn your back to avoid the impact but being hit in the head by a curveball will illicit far more pain than accepting the challenge with open hands.

  2. There will come a time when you are told that somehow you are not enough, not pretty enough, smart enough, you name it.  You will be told that girls don’t play football and that the only part in the fairytale you should play is that of the princess.  I’m here to tell you that their words are false.  You are enough and that is all.  You are all you need.  You can explore the world by yourself and that is enough.  You should open your heart for someone to love you but you don’t need them to.

  3. Don’t accept the role of the superhero’s girlfriend.  Don the cape and BE the superhero.  Rescue that little frog from the dirt because you can!

  4. You are not a puppet.  You cannot be manipulated by misogynistic messages from the world telling you that you must wear heels, adorn yourself in acceptable clothing and smile sweetly.  Baby girl, converse high tops and jeans and tee shirts are beautiful and classy when your inside you is all that it should be.  Smile if and when you wish because there is nothing more beautiful than authentic emotion, good, bad and indifferent. 

  5. And finally, this life will do its best to bend and break you, hold on for the ride! And never forget that snapbacks and tutus are always appropriate.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!” ~Psalm 139:14