The innocent honesty of small children lends charm even to life’s not-so-pleasant inevitabilities. I hope you enjoy the following scenarios.
One day when my three children, my mother-in-law, and I were having lunch at a modestly-priced restaurant, it became apparent that my four-year-old daughter was staring intently at her grandmother’s face.
“What are you looking at?” I asked her.
“Granny’s wrinkles,” she forthrightly replied.
Trying to smooth over the awkward remark, I said, “Oh, Granny doesn’t have many wrinkles.”
“Yes, she does!” she continued, by this time having captured the attention of another patron seated nearby.
“See!” she said. And with her index finger raised in the air, she began to point out and count the perceived lines from forehead to chin of her beloved Granny.
Before I could stop my little urchin, she had somehow progressed in her child’s system of counting all the way up to the triumphant sum of 97! Of course, she not only charmed her grandmother but also the total stranger who was trying to suppress an out-and-out burst of laughter!
I really should not have been surprised by this turn of events. Being a somewhat older mother by the time I had this third child, I had already been the subject of her direct words toward my own physical appearance in the privacy of our home–not out in public, mind you! She left that for later when she was in elementary school and would announce at any particular moment that she had the oldest mother in the class.
However, one morning when she was still three, her childhood inquisitiveness came out in full force. I was applying liquid make-up while standing in front of the bathroom vanity mirror. And you did notice that I said “vanity,” right? Well, with her little body pressed against my leg and her head tilted back she questioned me, “Mommy, what’s that stuff that you put on your face to fill up the cracks?”
Precious gems of a child’s truthfulness might somewhat embarrass us, but more often than not, they cause us to laugh and maybe reflect!
By Connie Carlisle Polley, 2018-2019