Yesterday morning was particularly more dramatic and different than normal. She didn't want to get up, didn't want the light on - these are the normal parts. Add in that her throat hurt, she wanted to stay home ( "wif you, Mama... I wanna stay wif you"), she wanted Mama to walk her when Daddy normally drives her, she didn't want to go to school and certainly didn't want to pick out clothes. Anywho... when none of her strategies seemed to rattle Mama or Daddy, she gave one last request, "Will you come eat lunch with me today, Mama?" Finally something I would agree with.
Scott happened to be off yesterday, so we both went to eat with our little girl. I sat to her left and Scott to her right. To my left sat a little girl with the grossest looking tray of food before her I had ever seen in all my experience with school lunch rooms over the years. Yesterday must have been get rid of all the about to expire stuff day because they served turkey sandwiches, ham sandwiches, and roast beef for the main entrees. I am really not seeing a correlation here or any semblance of appeal to the taste buds, but whatever.
Of course, I love talking to the little kids. In kindergarten, they are so innocent and fresh and relatively sweet. The little girl to my left took a particular liking to me. She chatted with me about her family, telling me at one point she had two sisters and then later that she had three. Who knows which one to believe, but I can completely dismiss her confusion. I opened her milk for her, and she was so proud to show me when she had finished it off. She then noticed my diamond ring and was enamored with it, her little fingers playing with it, moving it up and down and from side to side.
For those out there that don't know me well, I believe in the theory of personal space. Firm believer actually. In other words, I feel like there's an invisible barrier between my body and the rest of the world. The barrier around my arms and hands would be considered much thinner than say around my face. Here's a tip to any and everyone reading this post: do not touch my face - EVER. Sure fire ways to put me in a state of panic is to put me in a thrift store, a canoe, or touch my face. I just don't like it... my face has a much larger invisible barrier around it - like as in feet not inches - but obviously this little girl did not realize.
I felt her little hands piddling with my hair, and the tension started rising in my chest wall. She wanted to see my earrings. No biggie... I modeled my CZ's in either ear for her, hoping and praying she'd place her hands back in her lap and be satisfied at that. No such luck. She put her little index finger on a spot just below my left eyebrow... "What's dat?" Oh, dear me. Here's the thing about dat spot on my eyebrow; I'm really not sure what it is. It isn't a zit, it isn't a mole, rather it's just some random bump with no color or pain or anything. So the conversation ensued about the bump on my eye, but she wouldn't just stop there. She put her little fingers on all three of the healing zits on my face... one to the left of my nose, one on the left side of my chin, and the other one on the right corner of the chin.
This whole experience had my insides twisting for so many reasons. First is the obvious intrusion on my personal space (a.k.a. ~ the invisible barrier). I had to rationalize within myself that this was a five year old little girl who had fallen in love with the only diamond I happen to own and then her little index finger just got carried away. But then there's the whole thing about anyone, whether five or thirty-five, pointing out the blemishes I've so diligently tried to cover with my makeup. The teenager inside of me began to boil and hiss, and I had to simmer her down and remind her that we're dealing with a kindergartner who can barely write her name legibly. I simply could not hold her to the same standards as I would an adult.
I've never been more glad for a school lunch to end, not even back in my days in school when I had way more zits than three (but, really, at 34 shouldn't I have ZERO zits????) and still wore braces. I was so glad to part ways with my lunch pal. But I had to push down that personal space issue one last time as she wrapped her arms around me with a big hug.
Who knows why that little girl was drawn to me at lunch. I couldn't help but look at Madalyn, so lucky to have both her parents there beside her at the tiny lunch table, and realize she doesn't have a clue how blessed she is. Neither one of my kids do. Mom and Dad both love them dearly, work hard every day to give them all the things they need (and most of what they want), all living together as a family under one roof. These are the ways of life to which my kids are accustomed, but it's certainly not the norm out there anymore. Perhaps my lunch pal has a great home life, a mom who adores her and gives her all the attention she deserves and a father who does the same. But something deep inside tells me no. So, I guess having my personal space invaded for a 20 minute lunch is not so bad after all....