I would always stare at the way the girls in class's hair would lie, stick straight. No static. Once, at Allison's, her mom brushed my hair with what seemed like a very fancy brush that poofed in the middle, and I looked so great. I was convinced it was the brush, and tried to get a similar one. But that one broke apart, and that original hair-day effect seemed to be a fluke, or something that only Allison's mom could pull off. I was always looking at other girls, trying to be neater, cleaner, straighter. I didn't even see who I was, what beauty graced my own face, I just saw what I wasn't.
So dropping you off at school, though only 3, I do the same. I check out all the other girls, with their bows exactly in place ( one day I'll buy you headband bows) and fur vests and I glance at you, \ballet slippers getting muddy, hair in pigtails that never seem to align ( how do people align things anyways?), and my eyes crinkle in disdain at the dainty judgement of preschool city, as I try to emotionally wrap my arms around you and protect you from ever feeling the pain of not measuring up.
But it's me who's not measuring up again, now isn't it? Me who's worried I'm not doing enough. Me who thinks you can't handle it.
But you, you stride in there with a smile so wide, and a defiant attitude. You who is unassumingly friendly to everyone you meet; you've been that way since day one, since month 6 when the flight attendents gathered you in their arms and cooed with you for hours in the backroom, since year 2 when you hugged every single one of your school friends goodbye each day.
That's not to say you don't feel it. I see the way you emotionally start to grasp the complexity of relationships, friendships. You do cry after all.
But you're resilent, Israeli -born, your heart sings with gratitude'-Wow, thanks Mom! -you exclaim at everything I buy you.
You can handle this. And you'll take me with you. Protected by your inner strength we will take on the world.