Friday, June 08, 2007

The Eye of the Beholder

A couple of days ago I had an appointment with a new doctor. Apparently he didn't look closely enough at my chart, where my birthday is listed, because toward the end of the consultation he made the offhanded comment,"You'll want be careful with this medicine around grandkids, that kind of thing." Seeing the look on my face he quickly tried to save it: "Not that you have grandkids, because you're obviously way too young..." Yeah. Sometimes the foot just gets jammed too far back in the mouth to extricate.

My poor husband had to spend the evening reassuring me that there was no way I could possibly look old enough to be a grandparent, and the doctor clearly needed new glasses...blah, blah, blah. He's a good husband--he knows the rules.

This is especially annoying because my friend Diana is actually about to become a grandma, and if you were going off looks, you'd have to assume that she had her first child at age 3. We're talking, so young that high school bag boys still hit on her at the grocery store, and waiters assume her husband is her grandpa. Ugh.

Today I took my girls to dance class. Posted on the bulletin board were photos from a recent awards banquet their instructor attended. Now, there is NO WAY anyone will ever think their dance instructor is a grandma, not even when her kids are having grandkids. This woman is drop-dead gorgeous and in superb shape--in fact, she recently won the swimsuit competition at the Mrs. USA pagaent. In the photos, she's decked out in evening dress, long blond hair shimmering, perfect pearly whites flashing.

Mia looked up at the center photo, of her beloved Miss Jennie in a standing pose and exclaimed delightedly, "Mommy! That looks just like you!"

You could argue that Mia is the one who needs glasses, or that a 3-year olds perception is notoriously unreliable. But beauty is all in the eye of the beholder, and as I frequently tell Mia, she's got some excellent 'looking eyes.'

While I do know that I'm not a petite, blond ballerina-pagaent-winner, I'm going with Mia on this one. Who do I believe--a rushed doctor who spent a few minutes with me, one of many patients for the day, whose primary interest (appropriately) was diagnosing and treating rather than really 'seeing' me? Or a little girl who sees my face every day, up close and personal, who looks into my eyes and presses her face to mine, who knows that this is a face that loves her unconditionally? And if she chooses to blur my image together with that of her much-loved--and breathtakingly beautiful--dance teacher, who can say she's wrong? Yep, I'm sticking with Mia's assessment. She sees with her eyes AND with her (delusional) little heart.