Friday, July 17, 2009

Skipping Vanity Fair

While watching my four-and-a-half-year-old daughter play outside in wind and sunshine this week, I was struck by something very refreshing. This child does nothing superfluous to herself. She cleans, feeds and dresses herself well. Vanity and peer pressure do not yet factor into her decisions. The imposed desire to improve her appearance for the approval or attention of others is still distant - or at least minimal - in her consciousness. As soon as she was able to make decisions for herself we allowed her the liberty of selecting clothing that is appropriate to her planned activity and the weather, regardless of how color coordinated or fashionable it was. She continues to avoid uncomfortable things because, well, they are uncomfortable. She lets me cut her hair into an, immensely-practical-albeit-not-super-fashionable, bowl cut. Smearing her face with chemical pigments or punching holes in her ears have not yet crossed the threshold of acceptability in her mind. She enjoys articles of clothing because of what they look like, not what they make her body look like. In other words, a practical but shiny one piece bathing suit will trump a revealing two piece any day.
I love this phase. I know it is fleeting. I know the day is coming when I will have a six year old who yearns to look like the older girls and who may not accept my explanations about practical and modest dress as readily as my current cutie. Nonetheless, I just wanted to share my appreciation of her total lack of vanity and the ease of living I witness in her as a result.

We are called to have "faith like a child", well my new plan is to strive for the "humility of this child" as well.


Juris Mater said...

AWOL, that is beautiful. Thank you so much for this post pointing out, in yet another way, the innocence and goodness of children so that I don't miss it. How much I can learn from my little treasures. Seriously AWOL, you hit it right on... thanks for your ability to notice and treasure these very simple good things, and for sharing it with us.

Right Said Red said...

I have also noticed this attitude in Gianna. I love it, and wish we could just hold onto that innocence for a couple more years.

Elena said...

We are sort of in a middle stage with our six-year old girl. Most of the time she wears whatever to run around with her brothers. Other times she tries to copy what she sees on other little girls and my favourite is when she tries to dress exactly like me. There is something so absolutely touching about a little girl looking to me as her model for womanhood - Mother Mary, pray for us all.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely correct. I hope that you can save this post for Viv to read as she grows. I have faith that she will grow with the same moral fortitude and strength of character ingrained in both of her parents, and I know she will have the strength to not be "mini Britney". The fact that you notice these things makes me so happy. I am so lucky to have you as the mother of my niece and nephew. And the world is lucky to have a mother like you. We need more of you. Clone please. :)
The state of the world is so terrifying, and the state of humanity worse; Ignorance and arrogance proving to be a lethal combination in a climate designed to exault the immoral and corrupt. You are non of these things, Viv. Stay true to your character and close to your heart.