Last night while my husband was off doing exciting things like singing with his band, like, on an actual, real stage (I KNOW, you guys.) I was schlepping my three kids to the very worst possible place to be on a weeknight before Christmas—we were at the mall. Specifically, my girls are participating in a amazing fashion show next week—for the second year in a row—and needed to have a fitting. I was expecting my three tired kids to be an absolute nightmare in a crowded mall at 8 o’clock at night on a super cold evening.
In fact, they pleasantly surprised me and were seriously, seriously awesome.
On the long drive down, Isabella said, “So, if I had to describe myself in three words I would say this: artistic, fashionable, annoying.”
Me: Wait. ANNOYING?
Isabella: Emily, I am so a fashionista. School for me is basically like one big fashion show. HELLO, I wear skinny jeans! And cowboy boots! And side ponytails! And shirts with sparkly horses on them! I am so cool, you know.
Emily: You’re right. You are.
Me: Wait. ANNOYING?!
Isabella: You don’t think I’m annoying?
Me: Only at bedtime, sweets. But I most certainly wouldn’t use that if I only had three words to describe you! They are so many wonderful words to describe YOU.
Isabella: Hrm. I shall rethink. Maybe…FUN? I’m really very fun, you know. Or maybe Energetic! Or…I’m a really good listener too!
Emily: It’s true. You are so energetic. And you really are very funny, too. Maybe you should pick that one. Also, you are super good at decorating cupcakes. And you always beat everyone at Ticket to Ride.
My kids spent over half an hour trying to pick the three best attributes for themselves—and for each other.
You are really nice! You are such good friend! You are super talented! You are really smart! Everyone likes you. You are really creative. I like your style, everybody does. You are really confident. You are clever. You are really responsible.
I couldn’t help but smile from the front seat.
And by smile, I really mean cry.
We don’t do this enough.
We don’t spend enough time telling people what we like about them.
We don’t spend enough time telling people what we like about ourselves.
Why don’t we do this?
We are so quick to pick on each other; we are so quick to pick on ourselves.