Recently the whole family was eating dinner out at a local restaurant. Child #1 was eating a bacon wrapped hamburger minus the bun (in keeping with her South Beach approach to nourishment).
Child #2 was eating everyone's pickles (in keeping with his love of vinegar flavored foods).
I was drinking a Bloody Mary and my husband was checking something on his iphone. In other words, a perfectly typical night out with the family.
I looked at my pickle-noshing, meat-eating offspring and said, "I wonder what you guys will be like when you grow up?" The real surprise, given the general noise level of my children, is my statement was heard and answered.
Child #1 immediately set down the piece of bacon she was gnawing on and said, "No offense mom, but..." Then her statement tapered off into giggles.
"Child #1," I said. "Statements that begin with 'no offense' are almost always offensive."
She laughed. "Okay, It's something you've said lots of times but I'm worried you might be offended if I say it."
"Out with it," I told her.
"Well," she paused, took a reassuring bite of her bacon and said, "I think when I grow up I'm going to be just like you, except a whole lot prettier. No offense!"
Child #1 was more worried than she should have been.
I wasn't offended. Not even a little bit. But, there was a time when a statement like that would have brought forth all my insecurities. I told her she was absolutely right but even while I was reassuring her she hadn't offended me I couldn't help wondering how I got from point A to B.
Maybe I've grown up, maybe I've become less vain. It's hard to say, but in keeping with my growth theme for the month of April I'm going to look at that journey more closely and invite you to talk about it too.
When does it happen and where is the transition between worrying about whether we're pretty, have flabby thighs, our noses are too big/small or our hair is too curly/straight. How do go from obsession to acceptance and most importantly, how can we make that transition happen earlier for the little girls in our lives.