The last few weeks have afforded me some interesting conversations with my four year old daughter. They began one day when Sarah put on a really cute little dress and I told her how pretty she looked in gushing terms.
"Oh Sarah, you look so Beautiful!"
Sarah beamed and giggled and Mary chirped from the other side of the room- "Hey give me that dress, don't I look pretty???"
I stopped and turned to her realizing it was important that she not equate beauty simply with the clothes she wears or her looks. I know this can begin to happen even at a young age and want to at least try to discourage it when I see it coming.
So, my response went something like this :
"You know Mary, you ARE pretty. You're not JUST pretty, you're beautiful. But it's not the clothes you wear that make you pretty you know."
She cut her eyes to the side at me, and said "What?" a grin growing on her mouth.
I said again:
"That's right Mary, all your pretty isn't in your clothes, or your hair, or jewelry, pretty is really in your heart. It's there when you are sweet and kind and when you share. That's the best kind of pretty there is."
This seemed to please Mary infinitely. She hugged me afterwards with both arms and wouldn't let go for a little bit. It may have been a small first step, but I knew it was important and it was kind of nice to have that conversation after raising so many boys that never seemed to need to hear that particular talk.
So for the last couple of weeks Mary has more then a few times mentioned to me that 'pretty is in her heart'. And each time she does, I affirm that "Why, yes it is!" and she'll then go and tell Sarah she can have pretty in her heart too when she "bees nice to other people".
It would be such a sweet little story if it ended right there wouldn't it?
I know I'd smile sweetly and say "How nice" and be content by a short little blog post with a catchy title.
No such luck.
Today Mary approached me in the kitchen while I was cutting up potatoes for the dinner. Heres what she asked me :
"Mom, Is COOL in my heart too?"
I was so taken aback I didn't know what to say at first. Collecting my thoughts I said "No Mary, COOL isn't in your heart."
And then finished putting the cabbage and carrots into the pot.
Which got me thinking for the rest of the afternoon where exactly COOL is?
Certainly it's not in our hearts- then where?
Is it in our heads? Nah.
Our face? Nope.
Our hands? unlikely.
Sometimes I think it's in our jeans ( not genes- I mean Levi's here.)
Sometimes its in our walk, or smile, or talk.
Sometimes COOL is in nothing you can touch at all isn't it?
Sometimes it's in what you say....or don't say.
And, yet...it's there.
So tell me...what do you think?
Where do you keep your COOL?
And how on earth could a four year old have so much of it?