Oh my goodness.
I have to post this essay that Sophia wrote about beauty. It was entered into a district-wide contest, and she won a ribbon for it! An actual ribbon, not just a participation ribbon!
I read it this morning and simultaneously laughed and cried my way through the whole thing. Mostly I laughed because it's so 100% Sophia. The best material is found in the section about Gramma losing her hair and having to wear a "hair wig." Priceless.
The Good Things and Bad Things of Beauty
Beauty is something that people like to see and something that people like to be around. My Gramma is someone that I like to see and I like to be around. She is beautiful.
My Gramma is nice to me and I love to see her. When she comes to visit, she likes to play with me. She likes to read stories to me and sing “You are My Sunshine,” when I am going to sleep. When I visit Gramma in California, I like to go to the beach with her and find seashells and catch waves. Sometimes, we get too close to the moving waves and we have to run really fast from them. Sometimes, my pants get wet and Gramma has to wrap me in a blanket on the way home. We keep our seashells in a jar in her backyard. They’re always there when I visit. At Gramma’s house, I have a pink room and a princess bed. There are a lot of toys there and Gramma sits with me on the floor to play with them.
My Gramma had cancer and that is the bad part of this story. It was sad because we couldn’t do fun stuff anymore. Gramma’s cancer medicine made her tired and sick. I couldn’t visit her and she couldn’t visit me, and she couldn’t talk on the phone as much. There are more sad parts. Gramma didn’t look the same anymore, because she was bald. When you have cancer, the medicine that kills the cancer makes your hair fall out. It made me feel sad because she didn’t look like my Gramma. She didn’t look right. She didn’t look real to me. She had to wear a hair wig, so it wouldn’t seem like she was bald to people. At night when she was sleeping, she wore a soft and fuzzy blue hat, like long wool, to keep her head warm.
Even though Gramma looked different and couldn’t do a lot of things with me anymore, inside there was the same Gramma. She will never be different inside. She will never be wrong inside. It’s the same Gramma that is still beautiful to me. She still had love for me and there were still things we could do together. She still sang to me, but she had to do the singing on the phone. She still listened to my stories about fun stuff that had happened. She still had good ideas of things we could do together when she felt better.
My Gramma is someone that I like to be around and someone that I like to see. She is beautiful to me.
What a great kid.
Before I read this I wouldn't have guessed how fully she had processed my mom's cancer. I knew she knew about it, and my sister was really straightforward with them and didn't use any euphemisms when describing what was going on, but I was still surprised by the impact it obviously had on her and how much she still remembers her feelings and what was going on during that time.
That's what really got me. I hadn't expected her to remember so many details about living through that time period. For some reason I had assumed that it would quickly become a hazy, distant, childhood memory.
Now I want to know what her thoughts on me are. I do know this much, at least. The last time I was there I asked her if I was going to get married and she said, 'Um, no. I don't think that would be good for you. You need to do other things.' Hee, hee. There you go.