Addison is changing. And I don’t like it one bit.
My once supremely confident, creative, take-no-trash little Alpha dog – the one who seemed to eat life up she loved it so – has become doubtful and disillusioned. Among her first grade peers, her big bark and wildly wagging tail have all but disappeared, replaced by a disconcerting deference to the ‘popular’ girls.
The seeds of insecurity were sewn in kindergarten, when it became clear over the course of the year that the girls – five year olds – were beginning to classify each other as pretty and…not. Popularity was subsequently determined by where you fell on that excruciatingly superficial and subjective scale.
As usual, the Pretty Police prevailed:
I can’t wear that…everyone will think I look stupid.
Madison says my eyes are squinty when I smile.
So-and-so says my ears stick out too far.
Really?! First of all, there is nothing wrong with Alpha’s ears except her propensity for using them selectively when I am speaking to her. And secondly, as a species our ears tend to protrude from our heads in order to gather sound, so that we can hear.
Honestly, it took every ounce of restraint I had not to summon up Kristen and Demi, just to make a particular point:
But that would’ve been immature. And I am a model of maturity. Ask anyone (who has known me less than a year).
Anyway, four months into the new school year and the seeds have taken seemingly firm root, sprouting insidious weeds that I’m afraid will smother too many of the things that make Addison a fairly magnificent specimen to behold.
Hopefully sometime before the hormones strike their hefty blow, my Alpha dog will rediscover her inner nonconformist…the one who was once so often heard to say, “That’s stupid. I’m not doing it.”
In the meantime, those of us who love her will pull on our gardening gloves, drag the hoes out of the shed, and settle in for some serious weeding.