Conversation With Franz, 8, While He Studies My Face

ME:

What was your favorite part about the party last night?

FRANZ:

Well, I got to act.

ME:

Yes.

FRANZ:

And I got to eat like eight cupcakes.

ME:

Yes. I’m aware of that.

FRANZ:

And I got to talk to people.

(Pause.)

You need to be a man and shave your chin.

ME:

WHAT?

FRANZ:

You have, like, a beard.

ME:

I have a whisker. One. Maybe two. Maybe.

FRANZ:

More than one, ma. They’re like…

 1-BeardedLady-600

ME:

You never tell a woman to shave.

Women pluck and we don’t talk about it.

We ignore that little issue.

FRANZ:

I could make you look more like a man by taking your hair and making

it grow out of your ears and nose, like this.

ME:

Stop it! I don’t want to look like a man.

FRANZ:

And what’s THAT?

ME:

What?

FRANZ:

On your face. You’ve got a bump.

ME:

It’s a mole. Leave it. Just…Franz!

You’re making me self-conscious!

FRANZ:

I don’t even know what that means.

ME:

It means, you’re pointing out all my flaws and it’s freaking me out.

FRANZ:

What? Why? You’re pretty, Mom.

You’re pretty. You’re pretty. You’re pretty.

ME:

Say that again.

He said it like a dozen times more, whispering it into my ear until my arm broke out in goosebumps, and until it was almost like I was telling it to myself: “You’re pretty, you’re pretty, chin hair, spider lines, extra pounds and all. You’re pretty.”

 

God, I love that kid.