I don’t know. There are many things that Jo and I never had to talk about, to be on the same page. Especially with parenting, I know we are so lucky to share the same thinking about so many things.
Here’s one: neither of us would ever tell our little girls that ANYTHING or ANYONE is pretty, cute, or beautiful. We have been known to use “sweet” to describe a cute feeling maybe (but really only in a context that could very well mean “nice” or “tiny” – not necessarily “adorable”). Ida thinks that bugs are “so sweet”.
Our tiny females will certainly have plenty of time to judge and evaluate every inch of the world and themselves. They may do so without my input at their current, young age. I might tell them I like something or I’m picking something – that something makes me feel happy, but I would feel creeped out to call anything “beautiful” unless it’s a sunset… and I wouldn’t declare it “more beautiful” than another sunset. Again, for Jo and me, this seemed so obviously the way to talk to them, we didn’t need to say anything to each other – to consult or strategize. We both just did it. In fact, writing it out feels funny.
However, when my gorgeous daughters turn away from me after telling me something that could be the cutest fucking thing any living creature has ever communicated, I will often mouth silently to Jo: “she’s so beautiful”!
Furthermore, I now take this opportunity to write the following to my beautiful daughters; illiterate little cutie-pies:
YOU ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I HAVE EVER SEEN.
SOMETIMES I TRULY MUST LOOK AWAY FROM YOU, SO I DON’T FREAK OUT COMPLETELY, YOU’RE ALL SO INCREDIBLY, UTTERLY BEAUTIFUL.
HOW DO I POSSIBLY DESERVE THE INCREDIBLE GOOD FORTUNE THAT ALLOWS ME THE PRIVILEGE TO LOOK AT YOU OFTEN.
Phew. Please don’t tell them to read this blog post until they’re out of college.