My "Eight Cow" Bracelet
"Beauty is only skin deep" was a phrase I heard quite often during my awkward childhood. When I was a baby, I had two chins, Michelin Tire legs, and hair that stuck straight up even though it was easily over two inches long. My mom would often dress me in only a diaper on hot days inspiring my uncle to label me with the name of "Marshmallow Butt." It was a name he was quite fond of calling me, even years later. As I grew, the double chin turned into one and a half, the legs stretched into colonial columns, and the hair eventually lay flat. This all happened just in time for puberty-acne and my first training bra when I was only ten. It was during this transitional point in my life that my father began to teach me a valuable and significant lesson regarding beauty and the power of words. During my childhood, my family indulged in a weekly ritual we called family night. We used this time for various activities. We would hold family councils where we truly believed we had a say in important subjects. We would play games and have lessons such as "being kind to your family" or some other moral issue of the time. Sometimes we would sing songs, hear stories from Dad who could rival Mark Twain any day, or spend an hour to two eating ice cream and playing at the park. I am the second child and oldest daughter in a family of ten children, so these weekly "get-togethers" rarely went without some type of fiasco. These fiascoes varied from kicking at one another as Mom was teaching us about "Doing Unto Others" or my older brother Bill and I having a hair pulling fight, not just a tug-of-the-hair fight, but a fist-full, pull-as-hard-as-you-can, you-let-go-first hair fight. It was for one of these activities that my dad brought home a movie entitled Johnny Lingo. The story was simple, but for a shy ten-year-old girl who had long, stringy, brown hair, big brown eyes, a freckled face, and who looked as though the Pillsbury Dough Boy was...
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