There I was, in the dining room, showing my family one of the new shirts I got for my birthday. As I struck a pose, Colson’s jaw dropped, and then he grinned, announcing in his 12-year-old voice “Hey Paula, for a second there… you looked like Natalie Portman”.  I was speechless. Utterly speechless.  I nearly teared up.

Perhaps at this point in the blog post you are feeling a bit lost.  You’re not sure why Colson’s announcement was so significant.  Here is why: in Colson and Carter’s eyes, there is a scale when it comes to beauty… and at the top of the scale is Natalie Portman (with Katie Holmes coming in at a close second).  I’m not sure if this resulted because of the role Natalie played in the Star Wars movies, or if it’s because she often wears a “messy bun” (which Carter says is “ridiculously attractive”… and is a step up from the standard ponytail)  (really, as long as your hair is back away from your face, Carter thinks it’s lovely.  This can be quite an ego boost… you come upstairs from exercising (feeling disgusting) but Carter gasps as you enter the room and states “oh my goodness, you look so nice right now”.  I would be very flattered, except that I realize it has more to do with my hair being pulled back than the fact that I actually look nice with my flushed face and sweaty pits: gasping for air and stumbling up the stairs at the end of a nice workout).  Wow, that was a long parenthesized paragraph. Where was I?

Oh yeah, so when Colson announced that I looked like Natalie Portman, he was really announcing to me, and everyone else in the room, that I (for a brief moment) was one of the most beautiful women in the entire world.  Even if it was due to my obvious “birthday” glow, a compliment like that from a 12-year-old with no social filter, really means a lot.  Thanks, Colson, for the ego boost and the kind words.  For a second there, you looked just like Robert Downey Junior.

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