Sunday, November 8, 2009

Will everyone think I look silly?


My daughter, almost since birth, has generally sported a devil-may-care attitude about her conduct, her appearance, etc. That's how most kids are and that's how it should be. Slowly but surely, though, I'm noticing a new self-awareness sneaking in.

My artsy-craftsy friend Nancy gave her a handmade Halloween pin a couple months ago. The pin is a foam candy corn. It's cute and age-appropriate. When we were visiting my mom last month, I put it on A one day. She looked down at it, frowned a bit and asked, "Is everyone going to think I look silly?"

"No, of course not," I replied, puzzled. For starters, we were in a town over 1,000 miles from where we live. This little hamlet (Corn, Oklahoma - no lie) is so tiny that it has no streetlights and only a handful of stop signs. The odds of someone she knows spotting her and guffawing over her candy corn pin were pretty small. Infinitesimal, even. Second, we had no plans to leave the house that day. My mother and her gaggle of felines were also unlikely to point and mock (at least not right to her face - you know how some cats are).

My daughter is very confident in herself, so I was surprised at her question. Now that she attends elementary school, I suppose more external influences are seeping in. I'm not sure I like it. I mean, this is the same kid who stated, upon arriving at our neighborhood park: "Oh good, there are people here! Everyone will see me!" The same kid who skips in public, hops on any stage she can find, and chats up strangers every chance she gets.

Last Thursday, she and I attended a Fall Festival over at the elementary school. There were craft stations set up and a deejay rockin' some tunes in the gym. By the way, the deejay played "The Cha Cha Slide" and let me tell you, if you want to see chaos, play a song that instructs dozens of young children to "slide it to the left" and "slide it to the right." The deejay gave a quick primer on the concepts of left and right before playing the song, but the end result was still a tangle of minor collisions on the dance floor. Unintentional comedy is sometimes the best kind.

My kid was dancing and running around with some of her 4K friends. I was talking to a mom who lives down the street from me and wasn't paying specific attention to what A was doing at that moment. Somehow, she ended up ass over teakettle and smacked the back of her skull on the dance floor. I hope this will be the first and last time I have to type a sentence like that. She came running to me and I knelt down and did my best to console her. I rubbed her head and wiped her tears and waited to see if she wanted to get back out on the dance floor. To my surprise, she said she wanted to go home. My daughter is not the type to leave a party, nosirree. I always picture the college-version of her yelling "We're not leavin' till we're heavin'!" Then it dawned on me: she was somewhat embarrassed. I pulled her up on my hip and carried her out of the building, she resting her tear-stained face on my shoulder while still clutching her baggie of cowboy trail mix in her fist.

The real bummer: she didn't even get a chance to do the limbo.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Ya know I hate to say it but it sort of sucks growing up! The world is not such a friendly or happy place at times and as little ones we can protect them from all that. But as they grow older and are more into the world it would be impossible and unrealistic to do so. Thankfully she will always have her family to turn to.... What a cute picture of her but I have to say she sure is looking a bit more grown up!!;)