“I don’t want to go to class today,” she said as she approached the classroom. This had never happened before. Whatever excitement she’d had when she’d chosen her outfit and run into my room to show me had suddenly drained away. “I don’t want people to look at me and say I’m beautiful,” she insisted. “But you are,” the grandparents reassured her repeatedly, in so many words.
But I get it. She heard that word (and others like it) often, every day, all day. About her face, her hair, her dress, her smile. But, today, when she’d put on her princess dress, her cape, and stockings; when she’d curtsied and twirled and twirled and twirled; when she’d looked at her reflection in the mirror and then turned to me and said, “Mommy, look at me. I’m Anna,” she didn’t want or need to be beautiful. She was all nouns and verbs, all persona and action. No adjectives. She just wanted to be Anna from Frozen. She just wanted to be Ella: a girl playing dress-up. She just wanted to be enough.
File this under "meaning to". Also filed under "but didn't".
"Mommy, stay. Because you're the best mommy." She needed a partner in crime for the pouring. Today, she found one.
I need to do mess better.
There is freedom in being a complete beginner and in saying I have no idea what I'm doing.
Today, I let her win.
"I don't want to play with you." And there it is. Her unexpressed anger and sadness. In my head, I understand it; in my heart, it's a knife, twisted.
"Is it three weeks yet?" I'd told her that Baby Brother was coming in three weeks, three weeks ago. He was due. He was overdue.
There are sentences I know I would never, could never, write. Reading high-end shelter mags, feeling twangs of pen envy.