On Saturday, I was putting Lu into her car seat and we sat together talking quietly for a few minutes. She reached out, took my face in both her hands (I tried to be cool, because she is not that affectionate anymore), and held me still, studying me. She said, "Your eyes are green. Mine are hazel." Then she said, "You have a red spot on your nose -- do you need one of my Band-Aids?" A zit, naturally. "Your eyelashes look a little bit purple. Purple-ish black."
"What else do you see?" I asked her, interested in her powers of observation more than her assessment of me. She said, "You're pretty, Mom. And I'm pretty like you, right?"
Well, yes. When she put it that way, all I could answer was yes. As she held my face in her little hands, I realized I hold some of her ego in mine. There are so many things to say about this exchange, so many ways it will play out in the years to come, but I allowed myself to feel pretty under her gaze.
"Yes, babe, we are pretty."