Captivating

bridalRecently I babysat for a co-worker’s children – Ella, 3, and Jacob, 1.

Jacob went to bed like an angel shortly after I got there, so Ella and I had some quality time alone.  First, we had a tea party.  Then I painted her nails.  Before we knew it, it was time for bed.

Ella is a master at stalling.  She usually tries to give me a tour of the house or tell me a story or sing me a song.  She is also the most thorough teeth-brusher ever.  (This, of course, is the part in her bedtime routine right before putting on her pajamas.) 

On this particular night, Ella was looking around the bathroom as she was brushing her teeth.  She picked up some flowers, commented about how beautiful they were, then with bright eyes said, “I have flowers for my wedding.  They’re in my room by my bed.  Do you want to see them?” 

Yes, but you have to finish brushing your teeth first, I said, trying to move her along in the process.

She threw her toothbrush on the sink and bolted to her room.  When I entered behind her, I found her cradling a beautiful bouquet of flowers that looked like they were the toss bouquet from a previous wedding. (I later found out they were carried by a bridesmaid in Ella’s parents’ wedding.). 

“These are for my wedding,” she said with dreamy eyes.

When are you getting married?

“In a few weeks,” she answered excitedly.

Who are you getting married to?

“Jackson,” she said confidently.  (Jackson is her good friend and nextdoor neighbor.)

What are you going to wear?

“A white dress that covers my shoes and drags a little bit.   And a thing that’s like a hat, but it’s not, and it’s going to go down my back,” she said as her tiny hands gestured flowingly behind her.

I stood in awe.  At the tender age of 3, Ella is already dreaming about her wedding day.

It’s so engrained in our being as women that we want to be beautiful.  We want to be romanced.  We want to be found captivating.

John and Stacy Eldridge wrote a book about this, aptly called Captivating.  I felt like the authors took my heart and squeezed it onto the pages.  This book was cathartic for me, probably because I was introduced to it about 6 months after my divorce. 

(If you know much about me, you know I’m not an avid reader, but I read this book three times in three months!  The first time, I cried the whole way through… in a good way.  The second time, I underlined, starred, and wrote in the margins.  The third time, I took my underlined/starred sections and journaled about them. This book has perhaps spoken to me more than any other, next to the Bible.)

 “Every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in the great adventure, and to unveil beauty” (Eldridge, 8).

This desire is so deeply engrained in who we are as women, even little Ella has it.  And it doesn’t go away, even with age.  My dear friend Esther was confined to a wheelchair and wearing a diaper when she declared that she “probably shouldn’t eat any more chocolates” because they might ruin her figure.  Even at 93-years-old, she wanted to feel beautiful.

What about you… can you relate to me, Ella, and Esther? 

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~ by Serena on March 16, 2009.

3 Responses to “Captivating”

  1. great story/post. i love all three of the ladies!

  2. Wow – great post. I love Ella juxtaposed with Esther. You review makes me want to read the book.

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