I ate sand yesterday. And I liked it.
After patiently waiting for me to finish blogging at the "puter", Savannah and I set off for the park. She had spent the last few hours collecting items to bring with us and with four dolls between us, a stroller, and about twelve hundred toys and purses, we looked like a couple of gypsies struggling down the sidewalk with our booty.
The path to the park takes us past an elementary school and as luck would have it, we were traveling by at exactly 3:00. A sea of SUV's were lined up along both sides of the street and the entire block was crawling with hundreds of kids. Boys with baggy jeans and baseball caps crossed in front of us, tossing footballs to each other and calling out to the girls. Ponytailed girls in their makeup and low waisted jeans and padded bras giggled and talked together, pretending to ignore them.
I looked around as we approached and thought "Oh no. She's going to be embarrassed. She's going to feel silly with all these toys. She's going to want to be a big kid and walk ahead of me and I'm going to end up carrying all this crap."
But, I was wrong.
Savannah and I advanced through the crowd, her head held up proudly as she pushed her baby stroller with her Cabbage Patch inside. She never stopped babbling to me or tending to her baby doll. She was never self-conscious or embarrassed. She was proud to be walking with her mommy and her dolls.
When we reached the park across the street, it was overrun with the recently dismissed kids. Boys swung aggressively on the swings, girls sat atop the slides in groups talking on their cell phones and calling out to each other.
Savannah, half their size, pushed her little stroller right through them, found an empty spot and began unloading her things. She set up her dolls on the ground, laid out cups and plates in the sand, completely oblivious to all the "coolness" going on around her.
I could not have been more touched. My darling little girl. So sure of herself. So confident in her play. Never questioning her desires or comparing herself to the other kids. Just simply being. I know it will not always be this way. I know that once she starts school and they get their hands on her, her self confidence will be tested.
I know she will look in the mirror at the "fat thighs" she had never noticed until someone pointed them out.
I know she will blame herself when the girls she thought liked her suddenly turn on her.
I know she'll cry over what people say.
I know she'll feel desperate for that boy to return her affections.
I know she'll want the same clothes, the same music, the same hair, the same body.
Same. Same. Same. I know its coming. But, its not here yet.