This week I’m honored to be guest posting over at Kelli Woodford’s place, Chronicles of Grace.  Every week I help her and a handful of other writers host the Unforced Rhythms linkup.  Click over there at the end of this post to continue reading and visit other posts in the linkup.  

He’s a
heavyset, gray-haired man, short and jovial who honed in on my daughter, tall,
slender and serious.

“Smile!” he commanded
and she obeyed.

nearby I was overcome with a strong desire to whack that man, not really, but
just mostly in that mama-bear, leave-my-kid-alone-kind-of-way. 

I too was a
tall, slender and serious girl.  I cannot
tell you the number of times men, mostly in passing, reminded me to smile. 

they’d say, passing me in the mall, in the college lunch line where I worked,
on the street.

Sometimes it
felt like a harmless flirtation, but underneath all of those commands to change
the way my face looked, I got the message that it wasn’t ok to be me.  To be a woman, young or old, who rests serene
in her own quiet seriousness is to shirk cultural expectations of the bubbly,
giggly girl who lights up the world around her with her pearly whites. 


I took my
daughter to the Dr. this week after she’d suffered through a baffling array of
symptoms.  Was it allergies, a cold, a
stomach bug, Strep?  We had no idea. 

She sat
alone on the high examining table wrapped in a paper gown while the Dr. tried
to puzzle things out.  Every time we
visit the Dr. she worries about needing a strep test.  She hates the test, gags every time and occasionally
vomits on whoever happens to be administering it. 

Finally the
dreaded moment came and her eyes grew wide, as if to say, “Really, Mom? This

To continue reading, follow me over to Kelli Woodford’s place where you can read more posts in the Unforced Rhythms link-up and leave a comment. See you over there! 

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