I live for her approval. Doubtless, many of us are enslaved to the whims of others and allow ourselves to be controlled by their validations and blessings, or lack thereof. I seek her out at school every day, hoping to find enough affirmation to keep me going until I return to the confines of my apartment. Sometimes, I think she has tired of our interaction and sometimes, I think she just doesn't care. In recent weeks, I even accused her of not trying anymore. She denied it, but I wonder..... I don't want it to end like this.
I guess I have to go back to the beginning. A year ago in October, I passed her as we headed into All School Chapel. Without warning, or provocation, she cut me to the heart with these three words: "You don't match!'' The she in question was Margaret. Then in kindergarten, now in first grade, Margaret has been my fashion commentator since that fateful day eighteen months ago. Every time our paths cross now, she either gives me a thumbs up, a thumbs down, or a sideways thumb, the international symbol of average. No doubt, she's one tough critic but she comes by the gift naturally. Her mom, Katherine, told me yesterday that Margaret has aspirations of being a fashion designer. Katherine, our wonderful Westbury Christian School elementary art instructor, even divulged that Margaret is her advisor on fashion issues. I guess that puts me in good company!
You may think it's silly that it matters to me what a seven year old thinks; I don't. I try to dress respectably but it's a roll of the dice. (Angela, one of my sophomore students has accused me of intentionally mismatching 'just to make me mad,' a charge I vehemently deny!) Margaret has a gift that I don't have and she, in her own way, is refining my appearance. When my look is awkward, she scrunches up her face but when I'm coordinated, she almost beams! Proverbs 27:17 tells us that, 'As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.' Admittedly, I'm not very good with my Panasonic Steam Iron but that's another story for another blog. But the sharpen clause of that spiritual wisdom definitely applies. I dress more professionally because of Margaret and I believe there is a carryover to the classroom. The Bible is full of verses teaching that associating with people of good character improves our character. And in my mind, that's what Margaret is doing for me, one checked shirt and striped tie at a time. It may be a very long journey but at least, my belt and shoes are finally the same color.
Applicable quote of the day:
"The finest clothing made is a person's skin but of course, society demands something more than this.''
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org