So the other day I was at a cookout in Bass River with my two kids and about a zillion other kids aged from two to maybe sixteen. I haven’t been wearing a scarf or anything else on my head stateside because now that I am sporting a crew cut I figure what the hell.
You see where this is headed (so to speak), don’t you?
So I am sitting on a lawn chair minding my own business and nursing a small glass of some sort of citrusy gin and elderflower liqueur situation when I overhear a young boy, maybe about four or five, say “hey you see that bald lady over there? She looks like a boy.” Of course I start laughing, because you have to love how honest children are. And a much older girl (at least twelve maybe older) looks contrite and apologizes to me. “Oh it’s fine,” I say.
Well it was fine with me but my younger daughter, Charlotte, hears the whole thing and marches over to me and says “you have some hair. I’m going to tell that boy.” Then she launches into a jaunty rendition of Mama Odie’s “Dig A Little Deeper” (“it don’t matter what you look like; don’t matter what you wear…”) from The Princess and the Frog, which is a quality animated film with decent music if you haven’t seen it. Really. ‘Bout time they had Disney flick set in New Orleans with a Cajun firefly.
After at least an hour or maybe even longer, in the midst of dinner, Charlotte decides to find that boy and tell him that in fact her mother has some hair. “What did he say?” I ask. “He said strike one, strike two, strike three.” Which makes no sense. Whatever. Lends no credence to the little blighter’s assertion that I resemble the opposite sex. Just wait until he sees me after my upcoming boob inflation on August 16. Ha. How do you like me NOW?
Anyhow the point of my story, as you may have guessed, is that my kid stuck up for me. How cool is that? My five-year-old child witnessed an event that made her feel uneasy and that she knew could have hurt my feelings and not only did she leap to my defence but she also performed a little musical number to make me feel better. Thus restoring balance to the universe.
Charlotte has a deeply developed sense of empathy. And this is not a new thing. When she was two and a half on her first day of nursery school, she watched one father leave after settling his son in. Immediately upon the father’s departure, the son started to cry. Charlotte turned to me and said “I don’t like that dad’s behaviour.”
Empathy = killer. Most of us could use a little extra, hmm?