Friday, November 14, 2008

CAN I BOTTLE THIS MOMENT?


Seriously, is there a little jar that can preserve a seven year old girl's sense of self. Keep it for those moments that are sure to come where she'll need a heaping dose of it just to get by? I need to know. Right now so I can get my supplies and extract the goodness. Not all of it. I'll leave some for now and save the rest for later. I know, it's like I'm speaking in tongues right now, isn't it? But when you see what Petunia brought home from school yesterday, you'll understand.


Tucked innocently in her folder between math and spelling was this. A little paper, a one page diary by Petunia, about Petunia. As I scanned the sheet, at first treating it like any other school paper, the first thing that struck me was how well she knows herself. Sounds a bit odd to say. Who would know her better than her, right? But then think about if some asked you for two words that describe you - how quickly could you come up with them? How spot on would they be? Would you be afraid to be boastful? Take the easy, self-deprecating approach? Here's Petunia's answer: "honest and athletic." And you know what? She is honest and athletic. But that's not the part that got me. "Honest and athletic" was sweet and made me smile. Here's what made me cry. Here's what made me want to freeze this moment in time while I gather my canning supplies and prepare the kitchen. 

Three things I like about myself:
1. I am helpful.
2. I am beautiful.
3. and I care for others.

It breaks your heart in the best possible way. She is all of those things. And more. And the beauty of this moment is that she realizes that she's all of these things. So if I can bottle up the I am helpful and beautiful and I care for others, toss in a good dose of honest and athletic and save it for those moments when she's 16 and was left out of the group or 18 and her heart is broken or 21 and ready to go out into the world, please tell me how. She'll need it then. It could serve her well and I want to be ready with a big heaping dose.

5 comments:

Wecare4much said...

Thanks for making me cry this morning. That is precious. I wish I had bottled that too because by 10 and 11 they are dealing with mean girls and all those feelings that come with it. I wish I had a bottle to share with La Diva now. :'( Hugs to you and your beautiful girl.

Muganoot Mommy said...

Amen, sister! Next thing you know, she'll be asking you to teach her how to flirt.

Grab every little drop you can. It is the sweetest nectar!

LeAnn said...

What a sweet, sweet girl.

karey m. said...

it's such a gift...to like yourself even when everyone else seems to like everyone-but-you.

this self-image she's got right now? it does stick. it does.

so far, so good. well done making a good one, right?

janelle said...

You mustn't post things like this to make me sob at my desk. My co-workers think I'm a lunatic (I guess it's about time they found out, right?).

What a gem you're raising, Jo-Ann. Good work!