Saturday, September 13, 2008

Perception

I. E and I were reading books on the couch this afternoon. She looked up and poked me lightly. What's that? "What?" That brown thing. "It's a mole, sweetie." I have a mole under my left ear that I've had since forever. I hate it. Once at the dermatologist I asked about removing it. I heard the very discouraging line: "Oh, we don't like to remove that kind of mole without a compelling reason. That kind usually grows back -- and usually, it'll come back bigger than the original." So, I still have that mole, and have kept right on hating it. There's a birthmark about a half-inch from it, and E poked that next. That's not a mole. "No sweetie, that's a birthmark." I don't inherently hate that birthmark, except that it does sort of act like a big neon arrow for the mole, as E noticed. Then she poked the two blemishes together, one-two, and said something she usually only utters when she notices a stranger wearing something purple: I love those. "You do?" I asked, surprised and strangely touched. "Why?" Because I do, she said simply. And then back to business: Now, READ, Mommy!!! It was a real gift, though; I can't hate my mole anymore because it's some sort of talisman of Mommyness to my daughter.

II. E and I took a walk this evening. It was warm outside and the sky was filled with dramatic clouds, courtesy of a hurricane a thousand miles away. The clouds were colorfully lit and playing peekaboo with the emerging moon and really, it would be hard not to pay attention to such a show. E was collecting acorns but looked up and yelled, Mama! The sun is going down and look, the moon is coming up! Look at that moon in the clouds! And some guy who was also outside looked at her, her little round and dimpled small-childness already back to searching for unbroken acorns. He said, "wow! She's so perceptive for her age!" And I simply said, "yes" and smiled at him, and down at her. To elaborate would be boastful, to explain that they'd studied the sky in school would diminish her accomplishment of still actually noticing and applying what she'd learned, and well, the man's observation was accurate. I didn't need to say anything at all.

III. Our walk began aimlessly but focused its direction, not surprisingly, towards the playground. As we approached we saw two teenage girls swinging high on the only two not-baby swings. The girls were very pale, very skinny, very severe in appearance. They both wore all black: tank tops and skinny jeans. They both had on heavy black eyeliner. They both work black high-tops. They both had dyed their hair a deep black. One had bright pink socks sticking out of her Chucks. She had also dyed the tips of her black hair a bright pink. That girl, Pink, jumped off the swing when we approached. "Here, sweetie, want my swing?" E smiled happily and jumped on, and I was happy not to have needed to get confrontational with an attitudinal teen. A bunch of guys came up the walk and the girls joined them. I didn't see what happened next because my back was turned as I pushed E on the swing, but one of the boys yelled loudly, "You guys are all DICKS!" I prepared this nonchalant sentence in my head for speech: "dicks are penises, honey." But I never had to utter it because immediately Pink got in the boy's face. "There is a little girl swinging over there and you'd better watch your mouth and remember where you are. I mean it." And E looked at Pink glaring at the much taller guy, and then she looked at me. Mama! The pink girl told that big boy to PLAY NICE! And we should PLAY NICE! That's what she took away from the exchange between the two teens so I got to save explaining dicks for another day. Pin It