I watched her shake her long blond wig from side to side as she approached the table of boys. She had just opened a new “Rapunzel” wig and dress from her Poppy, and despite the fact that we were in a crowded restaurant, decided to climb under the table and change.
She popped back up on the other side with her wig shifted and looking a little crazytown, so I motioned her over and straightened it out.
“Mommy, did you make sure all my brown hair is hiding?” I nod yes.
“And it isn’t looking funny?” I nod no.
I smile big because of the way her words sound with her two front teeth missing, when her tongue slips out because it isn’t used to a space being there.
“Then I’m going to go dance.”
She doesn’t get too far from our table but she has her eyes on the boys across the way. She has just turned six, and she’s already trying to show off for them. I nudge her to come back over. Tell her it isn’t important to impress boys and why don’t we focus on talking with the family and enjoying our food.
“But I look so different, mommy. I want them to see.”
I make a humming noise, which means I’m waiting for God to drop some knowledge into my mouth before I screw up my children forever. I finish chewing and swallow some pasta, not feeling like this is going to go well.
“Yes, Kate. You do look different. You look like Rapunzel! But you’re Kate, honey. And I think Kate is even more beautiful.”
She isn’t listening. She’s trying to slurp spaghetti without getting it on her new dress. It’s moderately successful until the meatball falls, which leads to a 5 minute conversation about how I told her not to bother putting her new dress on because it could get messy.
Do you ever feel like they don’t listen? I mean, we know what’s going to happen here. The wig is going to get tangled, the dress is going to be stained, and she’s trying to impress a bunch of middle school boys who haven’t even noticed she is in existence.
I mean, I would never…
I would rather, well, you know…
“But I want to dance a little father away, Lord.”
Then you may, love. But I desire you to stay near to me.
“I look more beautiful this way, Father.”
I disagree. In fact I quite prefer you exactly as I intended you to look, no matter the wrinkles or the unruly hair. It’s exquisite to me. Every bit of it.
I see what the world wants from me, and I move toward it. I disguise my hair, my heart, my intentions, and anything else that reveals the real me.
And whether or not she gets a glance is insignificant, really. It isn’t about them at all.
And so it goes for me.
How many years have I hidden under tables, trying to morph myself into beauty, sneak my way to the place I might matter, only to find myself with a broken heart and a stained dress.
Love, you put that on yourself.
I chose you before the beginning of time, and I see the bits you’ve hidden so carefully. Disagree if you must, but I believe they are some of your finest…
She comes to my lap, sits, and asks me to take off her very-long, very-new, very-blond wig so she can shake out “the tickles” it’s giving her.
I giggle because I understand what it is to feel bound by something I am not, and also what it feels like to be unbound.
And I pray she will come to know the difference.
As it comes off, she smiles. No teeth. Just Kate.
Beautiful, just the way she was made to be.Leave a Comment