Here in Edmonds, Washington, just a dozen or so north of Seattle, rainy and gray and misty and cold are all common words to describe the weather this time of year. But in the summer, glorious sunshine spills down on this part of the world all summer long. "The summers make up for the winters," locals told us when we moved in last summer and remarked on how little it rained as we unpacked boxes, painted walls, and nailed up pictures.
Downtown Edmonds is a neat little town with quirky shops and great restaurants. Edmonds is known as an artsy town, with art walks and artists painting on the street corners once a month. Also, there are several bronze statues scattered throughout the town.
My family's favorite is a sweet statue of a young girl. Her toes are firmly planted on the ground, but the rest of her reaches up, towards the sun that seems to be appreciated more in this part of the world than any other. Her arms are outstretched, and her face smiles with delight, totally caught in a moment all of her own. There seems to be some wind with which she's dancing and that, in return, seems to dance through her hair and skirt. The sculpture and its effects are uplifting.
It is called "Joie de Vivre;" artist David Varnau wanted the piece to reflect "the moments in our lives when all is well, our senses are heightened, and we feel the grace of being alive." Such a beautiful tribute and addition to an already great small town.
Now that you love this piece almost as much as I do, I must confess what I should not have said.
A few months ago, while my kids and I hustled in a gray drizzle past this joy-filled girl, I couldn't hold back my adult sense of humor. It's my dad's family's sense of humor--definitely snarky, often biting, and one that I've tempered with maturity and kindness and some grace. Tempered. Not erased.
"I wonder if she has underwear on," I said. Out loud.
SHOOT. No, no, NOOO.
Did I just say that out loud?
Enter the fact that I have one girl and two boys--and the two boys are of perfect rascal age: 8 and 5. If I had thought for a micro-second before letting those words come out, I could easily have predicted what they would do--what they MUST do because they are little boys for crying out loud: they had to run up to her and look up her skirt.
I just want to say, for the record, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry because now EVERY SINGLE TIME we pass this sweet bronze statue they have to run up and look up her skirt. I've explained to them how that's wrong, I've told them not to, I've walked on the other side of the street to avoid it. I'm doing my best to say how wrong it is to do this to any girl, whether bronze or not.
Definitely a parenting fail on my part. I'll do better next time to stop those words from coming out of my mouth. Truly.