Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Growing Up A Girl

I don't know about you, but as a child, I was happy most of the time and I felt relatively normal. I know it was that way all through elementary school.

By the time I went to junior high, though, my normal didn't feel so normal any more.  For one thing, I wore thick glasses.  I was also very shy and a late bloomer, so I started to have some real doubts about myself, especially when I saw the changes all my friends were going through.

I remember one day after school Mama asked me, "Honey, what's the matter? You seem so quiet today. Is everything okay?" 

Once that door was opened, I ran through it at full speed ... metaphorically speaking, of course. What follows is the conversation between Mama and me that day ...

Me -- Elementary School Age

Mama, Am I Pretty?
by CJ Heck  

Mama, am I pretty? 
"Why do you ask?" she said. 
She held me gently to her, 
and kissed me lightly on my head. 

"Your clothes are neatly ironed. 
Your face and hands are clean. 
You’re such a sweet child, little one, 
what does your question mean? " 

Mama, am I pretty? 
I really need to know. 
Am I pretty like the other girls 
at school where we all go? 

"You have a very loving heart, 
You’re gentle, kind and good. 
Your friends all think the world of you, 
anybody would." 

But, Mama, am I pretty? 
Sometimes, kids point or stare. 
I’ve got these real thick glasses 
that I wish I didn’t wear. 

Mama said my time would come, 
be patient and I’d see. 
The things that really matter 
were there, inside of me. 

But, Mama!  Am I pretty? 
(I didn’t mean to shout). 
Then Mama smiled and told me, 
"Sweetheart, yes, inside and out."

[From the book, "Barking Spiders 2", by CJ Heck]

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"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck


Susan Sonnen said...

:D What a fantastic memory and poem!

CJ Heck said...

Thank you, Susan! I believe those times are the same for all girls, at that age, don't you?