I brush her hair before school while she finishes her rubberband bracelet. “Is my hair as long as Ruby’s?” She asks without looking at me.
I tell her I don’t know Ruby so I can’t say, but I can tell she hopes I’ll say yes. Ruby must have beautiful hair.
I pull the brush through the tangles, try not to yank too hard. She squints, but stays mostly quiet. It’s hard for her to see herself separate from how she compares to someone else. I know because I’ve done this too.
What does this measuring do to our souls, this comparison of competency and beauty?
Silently I wonder how to teach her the truth so she’ll always know: You are a masterpiece, a poem. You have a rhythm all your own.
The best way to teach her this truth is to live like it’s true about me.
“What is art? You are. And the mayfly. And every wasp novel ever lived. And the hard Winter overthrown by Spring. Motherhood. Grass. Jupiter. Your annoying neighbor. Art is.”
–N.D. Wilson, Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl
And so am I.
This is Day 2 of a series, Made for This: 31 days of Living Art. You can click here to see a list of all the posts, updated everyday in the month of October.
If you would like to have these posts delivered directly into your email inbox, subscribe here. Everything I write about this month is inspired by the work I did on my newest book, A Million Little Ways, which officially releases this week.