A couple weeks ago I asked my kids how they would describe me to someone else. I must be a glutton for punishment.
Boy Q said, “I would say that you’re…so, SO OLD! Like really old!” Then he dissolved into laughter.
Girl Q sensed that she needed to say the opposite: “I would say that you’re so young and I love you.”
“Awww! Thank you! Now that’s sweet.”
“I didn’t say you’re old.”
So today Girl Q and I were chatting. I said, “Remember how you said I was young and pretty and you loved me?!” I was going to thank her for the compliment.
“Um…I didn’t say you were pretty.” She gave me a once over. Her critiquing eye rested on my pajamas and fluffy pink bathrobe.
Thanks, Girl Q.
I asked her why I wasn’t pretty–my clothes. I objected. I said that pretty was more in the facial region than in attire. I recounted this whole convo for Dad Q, who stopped me mid-story.
“Wait. You told her that being pretty was about having a pretty face?! That’s what you told her?”
Oooooh. Yes, dear friends, I missed a golden opportunity to teach Girl Q about inner-beauty. Parenting Fail.
These are the moments I dread. The moments when you, without even realizing, have perhaps caused irreparable damage to your offspring. I know no parent is perfect, I know that there are many missed opportunities. But even though I’ve tried to bring up this subject again with Girl Q, without context I don’t think it’s making much of an impression. (Boy Q, on the other hand, is all over the subject. When we read The Twits, Dahl wrote about inner-beauty shines through even if their face isn’t so beautiful. It stuck with Boy Q.)
I suppose that parenting is one of those tests of willpower and resilience. Despite our failures, we keep on trying our best to raise kind, considerate human beings. God help us all. 🙂
Also posted at Boy Q & Girl Q.