Only A Little Bit Beautiful

13 09 2008

Everyday when Roo comes home from school, I ask her how her day was. And every day she gives me the same reply: a cheerful and enthusiastic “Great!” But it’s always followed by the much softer, almost trailing off addition of “And a little bit beautiful.” She says this about every single day, regardless of what went down. Even the day she had a bit of a meltdown, crumpled up her worksheets, and threatened to “Litter all over the whole school” was still “Great…and a little bit beautiful.”

I’m sure that part of what makes each of Roo’s days a little bit beautiful is the presence of Rachel. Rachel is an awkward little violet of a girl with long legs and pale blond hair. The most distinct feature of her face is the ever-present thumb firmly planted in her mouth, complete with pointer finger hooked around her nearly invisable nose. Rachel is Roo’s seatmate, and possibly playmate. Who knows, for sure. Roo says that she plays with Rachel at recess, but we all know that Roo’s definition of ‘playing with’ someone, and her definition of a friend is a little different, in that sometimes the other child has no idea that they’ve been befriended, and no idea that they play a role in Roo’s elaborately constructed hypothetical play scenarios. And asking Roo what Rachel is like yields no real information either. The answer is always the same. “She’s a little bit beautiful.” What I do know is this: everyday, Roo rushes to Rachel’s side in the classroom entry line up. Roo plays with the many zipper fobs hanging from Rachel’s backpack. She reads outloud whatever’s written on Rachel’s T-shirt, and there is almost always something written on Rachel’s T-shirts. Sometimes, Roo reaches up and gives Rachel’s fine, stick-straight plaitnum hair a twirl, commenting that Rachel’s hair is “beautiful.” Remarkably, Rachel does not back away. She does not recoil from Roo’s invasion of her personal space. She does not reject this odd little girl who doesn’t quite know how to play or converse with other kids, and who could errupt into paper crumpling litterbugdom at any moment. Rachel just stands there, patiently and securely. Still sucking her thumb. And sometimes while Roo is fiddling with Rachel’s backpack fobs, reading her T-shirt and twirling her hair, from behind the face-obscuring hand hovering in front of Rachel’s mouth, I think I see a little smile. A smile directed at Roo. And it is more than a little bit beautiful.




5 responses

13 09 2008

Everyone of the Blister’s are beautiful and this mini story just made my day! I simply cannot wait to tuck them in and kiss them goodnight!

14 09 2008

No matter what, every child is at least ” a little bit beautiful.” Sometimes it takes the Roos in our lives to bring it out!

14 09 2008
Lisa @ ParentTalk

Oh, Roo, I love you!

15 09 2008

This story brings tears to my eyes.

Thank you.

24 09 2008


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