Monday, 6 September 2010

Little People

"I'm hairy because my dad was really hairy!" my niece asserted. And believe you me, my niece asserts with aplomb. It was like as I was hearing her I watched a medal winning high-dive in my mind's eye.

After regaling me with the difference between a mono/uni-brow and an omni brow*, she put her face to the living room mirror and scrunched up her face - to better reveal the nose hairs she had begun to fret over, I later learned.

"Do you have a tail-comb?"


She ran off to my mum's room and came back with one, then began to style her eyebrows. The most interesting of these was when she combed them up into the shape of a Vulcan's eybrows, like from Startrek.

Yes, I am a bad uncle. I express mild wonder at the beauty of my niece and nephew's burgeoning personalities. I've been away chasing that paper. So I've ended up missing out on siginificant periods of my niece and nephew's growing up. The last time I spent any significant amount of time with them, they weren't in the habit of describing their feelings or opinions in detail or as arguments. Now, as they engage me in discussion  I sometimes think to myself, "My goodness!"

As I looked at my niece scrunching up her face in the mirror, I began to imagine the woman that she would become. I began to wonder about the feelings she might have about her body, and how they could change as she develops. It made me feel some kind of way.

*A mono/uni-brow travels across the brow in a straight line, an omni-brow takes a dip between the eyes. Apparently.

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