Sashes & the secret lives of seven-year-olds
Posted on January 29th, 2013
eaches has begun making sashes.
There are two so far and in some ways they couldn’t be more conventional. They are functional extensions of the drawings she devotes herself to in her room, over-long paper belts emblazoned with a series of dogs and cats, of course. But when pressed about why she decided on making a sash of all things, she blinks and maintains that she simply doesn’t know.
What bothers me is that I don’t know. We’re not pageant people. We don’t even have cable which would at least allow for the possibility for her to have caught some of whatever promotional campaign ran in support of Toddlers and Tiaras. (That show is over, right?) There isn’t a doll in this house wearing a sash, for heaven’s sake—though to be fair, there aren’t many dolls. Peaches’ taste runs more to stuffies.
Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t an episode of The Simpsons from the one season we have on DVD that she managed to screen alongside her brothers. I have this vague sense that Matt Groening enjoyed putting characters in sashes on occasion (the Mayor? an animated pig once?), but short of screening all 25 episodes, I can’t be sure.
It bears repeating that our children are living their own lives and we aren’t there to witness all of it. They see things and hear things, taste things, too, that we might never have chosen to expose them to had we been given a choice. As they grow older, we’re often not included in that and that’s as it should be.
Peaches is closing in fast on eight—halfway through her third year in public school, now—and I still find myself surprised when she says something for which I have absolutely no context. It is from her world, not mine. More and more, that is the way things will be.
So I stand in the doorway of her room as she dons one of her mysterious sashes, pulling it over her head to rest on her shoulder, the line of dogs (or cats) marching down and around her hip. I’m not sure where she’s going in her head when she has it on but it has to be somewhere good.
She’s dressed for it.∗