A three-year-old I know just got glasses. He has big beautiful eyes and the glasses make his eyes even bigger. And more beautiful. Sandy, my childhood friend, had the make-your-eyes-bigger kind of glasses. I thought she looked perfect. I thought she was perfect.
When Dale F. stood up straight, he stood up so straight he actually curved. I admired the intensity of his up-straightness. And because I always wanted to be the best at stuff, I emulated his style for awhile.
I think my spine was at a formative stage. I blame him for my lower back troubles. Oh, wait — maybe those are from the years I spent slouching because I was tall. Or from the decades spent hunched over a drawing table.
The rest of us got poison ivy. Pam T. got poison oak. So when she came to school slathered in calamine lotion, it seemed cool. Exotic. It only added to her beauty:
I made these little paintings thinking there was something that tied them all together, but I’m still trying to figure out how to say what it is. I don’t want to say something about “the wisdom of children,” because there were plenty of beauties that I missed, plenty of people I wasn’t as kind to as I might have been. There still are. The closest I can come at the moment is, don’t assume you know what other people are thinking, about you or about anything else. I can also say, I really love it when someone points out to me a beauty I had not seen for myself. One more thought that crossed my mind: when you love or like someone, the way they are seems just right, and interesting, and beautiful.