Beauty Is In The Eye of The Beholder
It never ceases to amaze me how children attach themselves to things
for reasons only they can comprehend. When my youngest daughter,
Katie, was a toddler she attached herself to an over sized yellow
and orange blanket. She named it ree-ree and that quilted blanket
never left her side. The only time I can remember actually getting
permission to wash it was the day a container full of worms accidentally
fell on top of it, worms that were food for her pet lizard. Katie
eventually outgrew her frayed and faded remnant of youth. But, not
too long ago I came across an old make-up bag and was surprised
to find a cut off corner of this childhood comfort stuffed inside.
Now that my days are locked into a perpetual time and place of fairy
tales and make believe, as a daycare provider, I find it fascinating
the objects that children cherish. Baby Anna goes everywhere with
4 year old Kristen. Her wardrobe of baby dresses and other assorted
dolly adornments is worth a small fortune. Though she's starting
to show some wear and tear, to Kristen, baby Anna, is the cream
of the crop as far as dolls go.
Her older sister Alexis cannot go anywhere without what she calls
her fairy pillow. The fact that the stuffing is so thinned out it
looks more like a bed sheet hardly makes a difference to her. She
loves that tattered pillow and wouldn't trade it for the finest
fluffiest princess pillow ever made. Some children have certain
items of clothing they cannot part with no matter what form of bribery
a mother will bend to. How well I can remember a little fashion
queen wearing a pale aqua tank top with a palm tree on the front.
She wore that shirt until we threatened to cut it from her rapidly
growing 2 year old body.
I suppose we adults are just as bad at not wanting to let go of
things we deem to be treasures. There are some things I could never
think of throwing away. My husband calls me a pack rat. I would
have to agree but only to a teeny-tiny extent. I've had body lotions
lose their color and colognes lose their scent because I couldn't
throw them away, even though their nostalgic aroma was no longer
in vogue. There are certain prized possessions that we simply must
hang on to. Trinkets and doo-dads that may look like trash to someone
else because the sentimental attachment is not readily seen.
In my closet there hangs an ugly looking fanny pack. Wearing a fanny
pack around your waist has long since been out of style but I cannot
bear to let go of it. It hangs on a hanger, smashed between too
many sweaters in my cluttered closet. It is blue with bright orange
trim and the word 'BEARS' is stamped across the front. Over a decade
ago Bill and I were lucky to acquire Bear's season tickets. This
was back when Walter Payton, Tom Waddle, Dan Hampton and Trace Armstrong
were the charismatic crew that crunched the competition on the football
The fanny packs were given out as a freebie at one of those games.
That silly little purse is a reminder, to me, of cold winter nights
when we'd bundle up like Eskimos for a Monday night game. Some nights
we'd leave early and dine at a cozy little restaurant on North Avenue.
The tables would all be glowing with the flickering of candlelight
and outside the snow would be gently falling as we'd eat our dinner,
enjoying the ambience. Then we'd make our way to Soldier's Field,
never minding the cold all that much what with all the screaming
and cheering on our beloved Bears to keep us warm.
Trash or treasure, pack rat or memory collector. We all have our
keepsakes whose meaning is known only to us. And that's the beauty
found in the eye of the beholder.