She Likes me, she really, really likes me!
“I like that Tracey Bacon.”
Ada is my new friend. She’s three years old. She has blond hair, chubby, sun-kissed cheeks and a ready smile that makes me feel special. As I chat with her mom about writing, life, and peri-menopausal hormones, Ada runs barefoot in and out of the back door on her wonderful little-person legs, dressed in teeny tiny jeans and a T-shirt. She brings me flowers. I know they’re weeds, but she hides them behind her back and presents them so proudly all I see is a beautiful bouquet—and I can’t help but sit a little taller.
Ada likes me. I know this because she’s three and because she says so.
Even before I handed over a Ziploc bag of leftover chewy Jolly Ranchers, Ada had already made up her mind about me—had already decided to honor me with her friendship. Here’s why: Last time I met Ada, I said, “See ya later, Alligator” as I walked out the door.
Promptly, she told her mom, “I like that Tracey Bacon.”
Just me. Being me. Not trying to please or impress. I captured sunshine in the body of a tiny, precocious three-year-old girl and I’ve been living in the afterglow ever since.
I’m enough for Ada. I’m enough for Jesus.
I have to think about this. Ponder it. Is it really that easy? If I’m just being me, will people like me the way Ada does?
Do I have to be Tracey—the writer—Bateman. Tracey—the super-spiritual, have it all together—Bateman. What about Tracey—the animal-lover, perfect mom, good cook, edgy, funny, skinny, pretty woman—Bateman.
I can be a lot of different people—not all of them are truly me—and honestly, I’m a little afraid of taking off the hats that don’t fit. There’s a lot of messy hair under there!
But right now? For a moment, I look a little girl in the eye, and she likes me: Tracey Bacon.