Last season I was making a visit to one of our Girls on the Run sites, right here in Charlotte, NC. The girls were already out on the playground when I arrived. After signing in at the front office, receiving my “visitor” badge and asking around a bit for where the group was meeting, I was finally provided with directions that took me out a large and very impressive door to the top of a large stone staircase.
Seriously…I felt like Cinderella entering the ball, as I descended those lovely gray stone stairs. Approximately fifteen stairs into my descent (there were over forty of them) the girls down on the field noticed my arrival. They were as excited as I was to meet each other and so they began running…in flock formation…toward me.
The littlest one, (I later learned her name was Nicole), was at the point position while the remaining fourteen were fanned out in a “V” formation behind her. The momentum was building. Add some really sappy soundtrack music, some daisies in the field and decrease the frame speed to slow motion and you’ve got what looked like a beautiful love connection.
I finally made it to the bottom of those stairs when Nicole and the “geese” in flight behind her came to a screeching halt, about ten feet ahead of me.
Nicole stopped, cocked her head to one side and began what felt like a thirty second review of my appearance. Her curious gaze started at my feet and worked its way up to my eyes and back down again.
And then, out of nowhere, she yelled at the top of her lungs, “EWWWWW…you don’t look ANYTHING like your pictures. (Interject long pause here.) Awww, but that’s alright. It’s okay. We learned in Lesson 19, that they airbrush all those pictures anyway.”
She reached out her hand and I took it. Together we walked back to the field, along with the rest of her teammates.
Oh…how much do I love this program!!! The girls just call it like they see it. “What color is your hair really?” “Why do your veins stick out like that?” Recently one younger participant in our program asked, “Do you have any grandchildren?” Hanging out with children keeps me humble, real and unabashedly comfortable in my skin.
Call me crazy, but I actually love the wrinkles on my face. I’ve worked hard for them. I laugh easily and loudly. I cry fully and boldly. I’m not the least bit afraid of my wrinkles and what they say about me, my age and the experiences of my life. Being in Girls on the Run helps me celebrate, honor and embrace my physical, emotional and social gifts just as it does for our girls!
What physical, emotional and/or social attribute do you possess (and love about yourself) that the Girl Box may view as a deficit? How have you been freed from the Girl Box to embrace, honor and celebrate this/these attributes?