Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Makes Me Proud

Sometimes, of course, it's the big things. But mostly? It's the little moments, the not-so-in-your-face ones, the ones that show character so far beyond what you might have hoped your child would have.

I'm not going to tell much of this story because--as is almost invariably true of 12-year-old girls whose lives have become more and more their own and less and less their parents'--it's not mine to tell, no matter what Anne Lamott says. After all, nobody behaved badly here.

Here's what I can say: There was a disappointment yesterday. It brought tears to Em's eyes. You could literally see her stiffening her upper lip; she didn't give in to it, wouldn't give in to it. We talked, and I tried to comfort, but it was she who got herself past it.

Grinning at me with a watery smile, she said, "I feel like Mercedes."

I looked at her quizzically.

And then she smiled wider, eyes still brimming with tears, and began belting out, completely unselfconsciously, in a deliberately stagey and off-key voice:

I am beautiful.
No matter what they say.
Cuz words can't bring me down.
No, no.

I am beautiful.
In every single way.
And words can't bring me down.
No, no.

And then she sat there, and grinned. And giggled.

My kid is going to do so well in life.


Niksmom said...

That's a moment guaranteed to make ANY mother proud! :-)

Leightongirl said...

Way to go, E.

po said...

She is so, so totally awesome :). That is dazzling!

I wonder, about these wonderfully confident girls of today. (Not that they don't have normal insecurities, lots of them.) I just think about me and my friends (in childhood and now ;)); it feels like we were/are so much less sure of our self-worth.

There is so much negative talk these days about how modern parents have raised children who are overly entitled and unprepared for the "real world." But what if we've really raised children who, because they were told repeatedly, from birth, how beautiful and smart and wonderful they are, develop into people who are so much better prepared to deal with the world.

It'd be nice to think so :).

AB said...

You betcha!!!

Leila said...

What Po said.

And hats off to E. That resilience will serve her well, and give her the ability to find happiness.

cindy said...

that attitude is priceless! I hope that my own 6 yr old daughter can find that same strength when she needs it. It it tough being a girl!