One visit from Grandma Jean and Grandpa Ron occurred when Melissa and Mara were about four and five years old. My two little girls were fascinated as they watched Grandma apply a touch of make-up each morning because they had never seen anything like it. I wasn’t interested in make-up in those days and frankly there wasn’t time anyway; I was lucky if I managed to brush my teeth and throw some real clothes on by noon.
Finally, after a few mornings of watching the longing on her granddaughters’ faces, my mom asked, “Would you like me to give the two of you a make-over?” Melissa and Mara were almost too thrilled to sit still as Grandma applied a light coat of lipstick, mascara, blush and eyeshadow. My mom was delighted with the results; the little girls looked like they could have posed for a photo shoot. She called me over to enjoy the results and of course, I was pleased as well . My daughters were delighted with the whole idea of wearing make-up and glowed with the admiration we showered on them.
“Well”, my mom asked with pride, “Would you like to see what you look like now?”
“No thanks, Grandma.”, answered Melissa, “We know what we look like.”
Off they skipped to play outside.
My mom and I looked at each other and laughed.
Children are delightful because they are not self-conscious and they really don’t worry too much about their appearance. Little people are too busy exploring the world and having fun just being themselves.
Thomas Merton once wrote that frogs and trees are holy because they simply are who they are suppose to be, without masks or false personas. I think the same can be said of little children. No wonder Christ said, “Unless you become like a little child, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.”