What do you think you look like?

In Creative Writing yesterday I asked the kids to do their writer’s notebooks (the part where they write by hand in a paper notebook) about this – what do you think you look like? It’s one of those things that’s super weird to kids, the fact that they’ve never actually seen themselves. They’ve seen photos. They’ve seen reflections. But they don’t actually know what they look like.

Blows their cute little minds.

So I wrote too. Here is my thought:

I know how tall I am (I think) – 5 feet and 6 and a half inches. But I seem a little taller, because I wear teacher shoes. My face looks younger than I am, especially when I’m freshly made up or my face is totally clean. When my makeup is tired, I look more like my age.

I carry 10 (okay, right now, 13) extra pounds. Some days I don’t care. Those are the days that nothing rolls over the waistband of my jeans. Other days I get a teensy bit obsessive about the food I am and am not eating.

I don’t know anything about fashion. Nobody is going to accuse me of being an excellent dresser. I have found a style I like, and I have a few articles of clothing that I love.

I have wrinkles around my eyes and mouth from when I’m smiling and wrinkles between my eyes and above my nose from when I’m scowling. Guess which ones are deeper.

My eyes are pretty, even if they don’t work at all. My teeth are pretty straight, and I’m glad I never needed braces. Here’s a thing I wasn’t prepared for – when a person gets old, her lips kind of lose their color. So lipstick = need.

After we wrote, and I asked them to say what they wanted to say (silence), and I read them this, I talked to them about a moment in their future. I told them this: There will come a day, not too far into the future, when a kid – maybe a niece or nephew, maybe an actual offspring of your very own – will ask you if you had a yearbook. Because you’re brave and fearless, you’ll pull it out. And you’ll find a photo of yourself. And you’ll gasp with wonder. You’ll be absolutely gobsmacked at how beautiful you were. You’ll be stunned. And you’ll be right.