I sat and took in a beautiful sight yesterday, and it honestly has me transfixed. I can’t stop thinking about it, and while there are many different ways in which my mind is spiderwebbing here and there on the subject, as my daughter got dressed this morning, one little tidbit really drove its way home…
Imagine with me…
A somewhat middle aged woman with a grin that rivals that of a 7 year old who’s just been given a three scooped ice cream cone all to herself. She wears mismatched socks, her favorite glittery dress shoes, comfortable stretch pants, and a well loved purple top. When she walks, she holds her head up high, like a child who is stretching tall enough to ride the new coaster that’s in town. She walks up on her tiptoes. She has a laugh that comes out half giggle, to which she puts her hands up to her face because she has amused herself by doing it.
I sit up and take notice of her by the way she loves life. How do I know she does? Oh, I just do. It’s written in her eyes. They are full and sparkling. When her grin is lit, her eyes light in a way that can only mean she has been gifted with something few of the rest of us ever will have, even if we spend a lifetime searching for it.
Now imagine the scene in my bathroom. My daughter is in the throes of teen-hood and she is distraught. There is not a smile to be found on her face today. Hers is deadly serious. Her hair is not stick straight, no matter how many times it’s been ironed to be so, and it possibly moves incorrectly when she walks ? I’m unsure. Her shirt wont hang just so and her pants are bugging her and while her shoes are new and she loves them, she thinks that maybe they dont go with this shirt? Or maybe they do but not with these pants? Oh the hair! There’s so much of it and it wont listen to what she’s asking it to do!!! What will people think? Will someone notice, what if they notice and think something AND then say something too…
Okay, listen, I dont say this to trivialize my daughters delema. But do you see the difference? I ask you, how freeing must it be to live so contented?! How beautiful to not feel some of the frustrations, because they simply dont present themselves. Don’t misunderstand me. We all have problems. I know that this woman has had a lot of trouble in her life, and she knows pain. She knows hardship, and yet she knows determination. Life has not been easy for her and it gets complicated by her limitations. She also knows what she likes, and she’s okay with others not sharing her same taste. It was beautiful. She was beautiful. She made me wonder about myself. She made me wonder who I would be if I stopped worrying so much and just smiled and let my eyes light up again like they did when I was 7 years old.
This woman, in the world’s eyes, is flawed. She is to be pitied or to be disgusted by. She is to be made fun of or to be ignored. She quite simply makes the world uncomfortable. Why? Because she stopped “growing up” about the age we begin to loose our innocence? Maybe. The way I see it, she was gifted with something most of us will never regain. I look at her, and her grin, and her amazing eyes, and I feel a sense of loss. I feel the loss of my innocence and am reminded how hard I must work to try to mimic what she comes by naturally… I can smile, and I can laugh, but can I do it with her abandon??
Simple contentment. She was free because she was content. It was beautiful. For a moment, I wanted to be her. She’ not mentally challenged… I am. Just for a moment I ached to feel what it would be like to be so content, and to smile so freely.
Thanks, God. Thanks for this reminder that the most basic things are the most precious. Thank you for unrestrained smiles and eyes that light up the darkness in this world. Thank you for sending this beautiful girl to make my soul sing and to take stock of where I am. Write this message in my heart so when my mind forgets, this precious nugget of truth will be there waiting for me to remember. –
Forever your girl, Chrissy