formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Love Is Blind... Right? 9/15/08

My kid... she's pretty wonderful some days...

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Daniel Raeburn, a brilliant essayist, once said, “Facing a mirror you see merely your own countenance; facing your child you finally understand how everyone else has seen you.” Daniel Raeburn clearly never met Ryan. Or me.

First, I should tell you that Ryan is a smart kid… always has been. At 20 months old, she went through her ‘mine’ phase. I was (very) tired of it. When her cousin picked up something (that belonged to my mother), Ryan looked at her and said, “MINE!” Frustrated, I said, “Ryan, so help me, if I hear ‘mine’ one more time…” (OK, so it was an empty threat but I sounded scary). She looked at me and then back at Elizabeth and said, very defiantly, “It’s not yours!” (Yes, I knew at that moment I was in trouble). She was the first one in her kindergarten class to read (and in the 4th grade now, she reads at a 9th grade level). At six, she hid under her covers with a flashlight after she was supposed to be asleep to read the fourth Harry Potter. Her vocabulary and command of the rules of grammar and language are impressive. And she only missed one question on each of the (God-forsaken, devil-inspired ‘No Child Left Behind’) SOL’s last year. As I say… smart. And incredibly observant. And detail oriented. So detail oriented.

All that being as it is, the way she sees me perplexes me. She is truly an example of ‘love is blind.’ Since her earliest memories, I’ve worked from home. This means I rarely get out of my sweats, running shoes, and a ponytail. When I go ‘out to dinner’ (also known as 'a date', but Ryan doesn’t like the idea of me dating), I do wash and dry my hair and put on my ‘dressy’ jeans… but that’s about it. I can put up a tent in 5 minutes flat but when I put nail polish on, it looks like a Parkinsons patient did it. So when we (rarely) go to the mall and she has to (HAS TO) stop by the dressy dress section of whatever store we’re in (‘cause she’s a girly-girl at heart), I’m flabbergasted when she picks out some slinky, silky evening gown and says, “Oh Mama, this would look amazing on you!” Oh, and to boot, she usually picks out a size 2. I’m SO not a size 2 (nor would I look good in anything that would look good on a size 2). Then there are the shoes… 3 ½ inch heels that would cripple me in about 5 minutes. And the jewelry… oh the sparkles that child puts on me in her fashionista visions!

She started doing this when she was 3 or 4 and it was SO cute. She used to have all the other ladies in the store just ‘awwwww’-ing all over the place. Now they smile indulgently at her and snort behind their purses. This is how I know Daniel Raeburn was wrong about facing your child and understanding how everyone else sees you. Ryan sees me as beautiful and elegant and worthy of gorgeous, expensive, ridiculously fancy dresses. Everyone else sees me the way I see me.

But you know what? I don’t really give a crap how everyone else sees me. I’m going to work a little harder on seeing myself the way Ryan does. She loves me more than anyone on the planet and maybe love IS blind… but maybe (just maybe) it’s not.

14 comments:

Mama Wheaton said...

I too wish I felt as beautiful as my kids tell me I am. I wonder if we wear the blinders or if they do?

blognut said...

...eye of the beholder, remember?

You're right to want to see yourself the way Ryan sees you.

sherri said...

I see you the very same way- you elegant creature you!

Michelle said...

She is reminding me of my Tahni at her age.

And they are beautiful

And so are we

:0)

HLiza said...

Daughter-mother relationship is always very unique. All mine do now is criticize!

Heather said...

That's so sweet. :) I love hearing stories about Ryan.. she sounds like such a smart girl.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Sometimes how we see ourselves is not how others see us - They do not have our filters for self-hate and self-destruction...

A colleague once described me as elegant, and I am as far from a vision of elegance as I am from riches beyond my belief, but she made me feel much better about how I see my slapdash style...

See yourself through Ry's eyes occasionally, Diane - I think she's right, but maybe give the tiny, high-heeled shoesies a miss - if, like me, you bruise easily! ; ) xox

jill said...

i think Ryan should write a guest blog about her mom. i bet it would be amazing!

Julie said...

If you'd met my husband you'd know that not only is love blind, but it's deaf and dumb as well.

Squeeze Ryan for me, will ya? What a doll.

Missy said...

Do you have a list of suitors for your beautiful daughter? Can I make an appointment for my son to interview? He too is very intelligent, etc. I believe in planned marriages! LOL

SSP said...

I always mentor the kids I work with to be the kind of person their dog thinks they are, but only cuz they are all too young to have kids, like Ryan!

hautepocket said...

That is so incredibly sweet. I think your daughter might be on to something!

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