Friday, April 8, 2011

The Eye of the Beholder

Due to an unfortunate playpen accident when I was an infant, I have the ugliest baby toe in America.

No, I'm serious.

It's repulsive.


You do not want to see this.

Okay, if you just have to.

You were warned.

So today, I'm having a picnic with the four-year-olds I teach. In the chaos of the moment, I forgot about my hideous appendage and kicked off my shoes in the grass. And that's when something truly amazing happened.

I felt someone caressing The Toe.

I looked down and saw that the hand touching my repugnant growth was one that belonged to my little Hispanic student. We'll call her Maria. Although Maria started the year speaking exclusively Spanish, her English is now nearly perfect.

And it was in that perfect English that she said words I never dreamed I'd hear, "You toe ees so preetty."

She was stroking my freshly painted toenail, a shiny sliver of salmon glistening atop my meaty, red pork chop. But she didn't see what I see. All she saw was the shimmering preety pink.

Why can't we all be four?