Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thank you Tina Honeycutt-- Where ever you are...

Sorry, no Tuesday's Tips-- Just don't have much for you here lately. But, if you have a good tip, let me know! I'll gladly post it and give you the credit.. I do have a story though.. It may be lame but it's a story..

This morning I was preparing Emma's snack to send to school. I try to use reusable containers instead of unnecessarily using a disposable zip lock bag. I'm not sure whether my stubbornness about this matter is due to me being cheap or my concern for the environment but regardless, it just seems wasteful. Silly probably, it's not like I can save the world by not using a ziploc bag... Anyway, that is me and that is what I do...

So, I put her vanilla wafers in one of those spill resistant snack containers that has the flexible top where a child can pull out whatever is inside without easily spilling it. I immediately wondered if this type of juvenile container might infringe on the maturity of a first grader. So, I asked her if it was okay. I will commend my daughter for her positive attitude. She did say that it would be okay but she had a hesitant look on her face. I don't know if it was her trying to be agreeable or trying to avoid one of my common speeches that would no doubt go something like, "there are children in the world that won't have a snack today. In fact, there are children in the world that will have no food to eat today. In fact, there are some children that won't eat all week. THERE ARE CHILDREN THAT WOULD GIVE ANYTHING TO EAT THESE VANILLA WAFERS OFF THE GROUND. Yes, I often get carried away with my desire to make my children see that they are so very blessed compared to the rest of the world. Regardless of her reasoning, Emma made the decision that enduring whatever humiliation that she might face would be less painful than arguing with her mother.

But, being the perceptive person that I am, at least for today, I questioned her, "does this container make you feel too babyish"? Her response, "that container makes me feel like I'll get made fun of. A plastic bag will do fine". I, not wanting to put my child through any unnecessary ridicule, fumbled through the cabinet for a more sophisticated, Disney princess container and we compromised on something that would allow her to keep her cool status without compromising my environmental conscience. Okay, this really isn't a very detailed post to explain why I avoid using ziplock bags.

The interaction with Emma this morning took me back to fourth grade. There was a girl in my class named Tina Honeycutt. Tina Honeycutt had the most beautiful long dark hair and she always had a different hairstyle. Braids, ponytails, pigtails, buns you name it. Tina's mother was the mastermind of beautiful dos.. There was one particular morning, in admiration of Tina, that I asked my mother to give me pigtails. My mother, being the wonderful mother that she is, happily obliged my wishes. Now granted, my fine, thin ponytails fell quite short of Tina's glorious locks but I proudly bounced into Mrs. Dobbins fourth grade class being sure that I looked better than I ever had only to find Jacob Quick laughing and making fun of me. (There Jacob, now you know the real story of why I wouldn't date you when I was 16. You should NEVER EVER laugh at a girls hair. Not even in fourth grade.) Anyway, as I was standing in the girls bathroom with the mint green walls, crying and taking out my pigtails, Tina Honeycutt was standing beside me telling me that my hair looked beautiful and that I shouldn't worry what Jacob Quick thought because he was a stupid boy anyway...

I remember feeling sorry for Tina because she obviously did not understand the social suicide she was commiting by wearing pigtails in fourth grade. But now, as a mother, I find myself asking, "What did her mother do to her and how can I do it to my girls"? How does a person instill that kind of confidence in their child? I never wore pigtails again.. But Tina Honeycutt went on to wear her hair just like she wanted it. And, I saw her out at a dance club for teens when I was teenager and was shocked to find that she seemed to have plenty of friends and seemed to enjoy life as a teenager just as much as she did as a kid..

May the Tina Honeycutt voice inside you be louder than those stupid boys. Tina Honeycutt, I salute you!

What? You don't name the voices inside your head? ;)

Blessings,
Dana

7 comments:

Sara-Beth said...

As a teacher I appreciate your instinct to notice Emma's apprehension- if more parents would stop to think it would save us a ton of tears every day!

You are doing an amazing job instilling confidence in your kids! Continue setting the wonderful example you are and Emma and Chloe can't help but follow.

Jay said...

Asley Byrd was my Tina Honeycutt. She sat beside me in Ms. Horn's 2nd grade class. She had beautiful curly hair and once, only once, inspired me to get my mom to braid mine in small braids all over my head so I could sleep in them and wake up the next day with hair just like hers! ...needless to say that it didn't work out that way and I was ridiculed relentlessly. But to this day, I remember Ashley telling me that she liked it. --- and I also remember trying to mimic her handwriting. For a second grader, it was FANtastic!

...anyway, I am with you. Wish that there was a way to make sure that SJ has that kind of confidence, no matter what anyone says or does.

Holly said...

LOVE this. And I'm sure Tina Honeycutt would be honored... and probably admired you a bunch too.

Nellie the Great said...

Sniffle...sniffle. That was a really spectacular post Dana! And no, I don't think there are enough names in the English language for all the voices in my head! ;)

Anonymous said...

I have watched Emma with other kids and I am sure that she is someone else's Tina Honeycutt. I have seen her make friends with complete strangers of every race and nationality and she has no problem with confidence. I agree with Sara Beth that you were very perceptive but the fact that she was willing to take the bowl to begin with shows that you have instilled enough confidence in her that she would have been able to handle antything that they could have thrown at her.
Love, Denise

Dana said...

Well, I found out this morning that it wasn't as pure as I was thinking. She asked for a plastic bag this morning again. After pressing a little further, I found that she didn't want to have to take the plastic container back inside. I told her that she had lost all sympathy. That I wasn't sending a bag for her to throw away every day because she was being lazy.

Anonymous said...

That is funny! Makes sense to me! Denise