Thinking about all the future "Lucy stories" we'll accumulate as she grows up, I predict the story I'm about to tell you will go down in the top three. We're in trouble...
So, she's REALLY into putting conditioner in her hair. LOVES IT! It's the only part of taking a shower she likes. She insists on letting it soak in for a long time, has a routine to putting it on: you have to put it on first, followed by her doing it on her own. Then, there's lots of stroking and commentary about "how silky" it is and will be. :)
One night last week, Lucy had showered, was in her pajamas, snuggled in bed, and Jason arrived to tuck her in. She was stroking her hair and remarked to him how pretty her hair was. Now, unfortunately, I wasn't in the room to hear and witness this epic confession, but here's what Jason told me went down.
Lucy: "My hair is so silky. It's so pretty."
Jason: tell her that yes, her hair is pretty, and takes a teachable moment to point out that sometimes what one person thinks is pretty isn't pretty to someone else, that there are lots of pretty people, that sometimes someone you may not think is pretty may be very pretty to someone that loves them, etc.
(We've had several discussions regarding Lucy's natural inclination to be very fascinated and into clothes, makeup, appearances, the way she just notices things that, frankly, I think she shouldn't be noticing at five years of age. Aware of this, Jason and I have made it a priority to "reign it in" a bit and do all that we can to counteract her natural tendency. Note, I'm not saying this way of hers is bad in and of itself, however, I believe that it means we're going to be dealing with her flirting with crossing the line where she could begin - as she grows up - to judge people based on how they look, choose friends based on who's cool or not, etc. We want to do what we can to prevent that from happening. Hopefully, we're sowing seeds of that now. (Although, after this, we need to step it up even more; you'll see what I mean...)
Lucy: "But daddy...sometimes I can't stop thinking about it."
Jason: perplexed, "Stop thinking about what, Lucy?"
Lucy: "How cool I am."
This is when my jaw dropped open during Jason's retelling of the story. Oh boy...
I mean, it's funny, but it's not, right? I think society is failing our young children of teaching them humility. So many people get it so wrong (yes, I realize that's judging, but I'm sorry it's true :)...Society puts so much energy into teaching our children they "can do anything they put their mind to," parents focus so much attention on building up their child's self-esteem. (And what happens when these children encounter failure, or aren't #1 at whatever they're trying to be #1 at, the kids falls apart and can't handle it. And mom and dad become "those parents"...Anyways, I digress) The point is, I don't want my child to have a high self-esteem; I want my children to demonstrate humility. I want them to think of other people and what they need. To realize their God-given talents and abilities, but not be prideful or arrogant about it. Even Jason realizes and admits that growing up his whole life having his parents tell him how brilliant and wonderful he was contributed to his unhealthy arrogance. (Or maybe it's something they teach in engineering school; I'm not sure. But I know lots of engineers, and - not all, but lots of those engineers think pretty highly of themselves :) I want my kids to be able to make a humble, sincere apology when they've done wrong (not believe that they could never do wrong). I want them to be unpretentious, not focusing on how much they have (because I think we can all agree, we all have way more than we need), but how much they can give to others, in the way of showing love and serving others.
Now, I don't know where she learned this phrase "how cool I am." I don't even think I use the word "cool" anymore :) She hears her dad joke about how awesome he is, probably too frequently! (hint, hint) :) and perhaps it's time I listen more closely to the teeny-bopper shows she likes on Disney (Jessie and Good Luck Charlie are her favorites). But whatever the case, more intervention is needed to bring this delightful daughter of mine down a few notches. Kindergarten will be good for her, for sure. And when we do venture into the world of team sports, no doubt that will be a healthy reality check for her too. Although, no doubt it will be overshadowed by the crazy parents I already hear stories about. I'm so not looking forward to that... :(
I've gotten way off-track here; shocking I know. :) Back to Lucy; my very "cool" daughter. It's one for the books, for sure. And by the way, after Lucy's bombshell of a comment, Jason did of course, follow it up with further discussion. We'll be having lots more chats, for sure... :) So when you're putting conditioner in your hair and admiring how silky it is, just remember you're not the only one with great hair! :)