Photo Essay

Bean: The Art of Attitude


My daughter is 12. We call her Bean. We've always called her Bean. She has attitude. She's willful. Demanding. She doesn't know the meaning of the term "selfless". She gulps her food, burps at the table, and isn't so generous toward her little brother. She hates to clean her room and she always wants the biggest piece of dessert. She's a little aggravating. Rolls her eyes. Slams doors. She's sure she knows everything.

So in going through these family photos for this theme, I was at first planning on using shots of the whole family--hubby, kids, dog, cat. But the standouts were the ones of Bean. And in really looking at them, I began to appreciate the person that she is, and look at the person she may become.

She's determined. She's tough. She's strong. She can do push ups and pull ups. She got her black belt in TaeKwonDo at six and a half. But she doesn't like to be sweaty, so took to the pool to play water polo at age 8.

She's fearless. She likes the ocean. She thinks wet suits are for sissies.

Likes to dig in the dirt for bugs. Plays hard, and not always fair. Thinks looking both ways before crossing is a waste of time.

But maybe just underneath the "who cares" facade is someone with a gentler layer, too. She likes to dance. Wears lip gloss. Spends too much time in the shower. Adores her cat. Saves doomed butterflies from the sidewalk. Snuggles in my bed. Still wants Daddy to tuck her in. Sleeps with a nightlight.

VOTE: Do you like this story?

Tell a friend about this story!

Tell a friend about this story!

  1. or

Hi there!

thought you might like this story!

—The JPG team

9 responses

  • Kelly Roper

    Kelly Roper gave props (12 Apr 2009):

    Love this....honest, sincere and fantastic images! Go Bean! :)

  • Dotty Hummeldorf

    Dotty Hummeldorf said (13 Apr 2009):

    She is that and more, I think these pictures truly capture her complexities.

  • Rachel Stella

    Rachel Stella gave props (13 Apr 2009):

    Kel, I just love this. I like that you can see her flaws and admit them. Most parents have a hard time with this. The best part is that you appreciate them. Thanks for sharing!

  • cecilia casey

    cecilia casey said (13 Apr 2009):

    Speaking as one of Bean's very proud Aunts - I LOVED IT! And she is all that and so much more *laughs* those pictures Kel are wonderful - big hugg and well done Sis!
    Aunt Cece

  • diana

    diana (Deleted) gave props (18 Apr 2009):

    wonderful essay and photo collection! she is a beautiful child!

  • Fred S.

    Fred S. gave props (30 May 2009):

    You're a great writer and this was composed so as to paint a wonderful picture of your child (even without the photographs).

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece gave props (28 Nov 2009):

    This is a beautiful face paint job : ) I voted yeah!!!

  • Tom Mertens

    Tom Mertens gave props (12 Dec 2010):

    Got my vote!!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (26 Feb 2011):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

Want to leave a comment? Log in or sign up!