Thursday, August 1, 2013
Life Lesson Month of August: Blog 1- Letters from Mom & Mimi
In a world that focuses so much on how we look, I want you to realize that inner beauty is what shines through. Don’t be fooled by outward appearances. When people tell you that you are smart or sweet, that should be a far better compliment than when someone tells you that you are attractive.
Life Lessons Learned #22: Love who you are.
A few weeks ago, I made a comment that the wall color in our new house is tacky. Of course, you asked, “What does tacky mean?” Without thinking, I replied bluntly, “Ugly.” And you again inquired, “What’s ugly?” You made me pause for a second Ellie. First, I was in awe that you have been graced for three years to not know what that means (and then I felt a painful guilt that I tainted you by using the word). Second, I was stumped at how to explain it to you because everything that God has created is beautifully made and anything is else is our unfair prejudices and judgments. So I tried the route of, “Well, when someone is really mean on the inside, that’s what ugly looks like.” It didn’t satisfy you so I settled on something a bit more concrete, I said, “Well, ugly is the opposite of pretty.” You then asked, “Like a spider?” And because I really dislike spiders, I answered, ‘”Yes,” and you went about playing. Two days later, you brought the subject up again and stated randomly, “Ugly is when someone is mean and it’s what an ant looks like, right?.” You do think deeply about things and I do think that you processed what I was trying to convey. I want you to understand that ugly is something that people manifest. I hope it’s several more years before you have to think about that word again Ellie because I really can’t think of a time where it isn’t used negatively. It’s hard for me to picture a world where ugly doesn’t exist and for you, that’s been your life since you were born. I can only imagine the beauty you see in everything so I will try to see the world from your vantage point!
That’s why Ellie I try really hard not to say negative things about my own body in front of you. I want you to grow up to have a good body image so I am purposeful not to point out the many flaws I think I have. At three, you tell me that I am pretty and I let myself believe it because you see the world so simply and wonderfully (you see the color of flowers when we are walking to the park and the shape of the clouds when we drive). As my belly is growing with your brother inside, we talk about how amazing this experience is as you feel him kick. You are familiar with my scar from my c-sections but you don’t see it as a disfigurement, you see it as I do- it’s more than a boo boo, it’s a line of love. And really, isn’t that what most blemishes and wrinkles on our skin are? They tell stories of where we’ve been.
Don’t let the media define beauty for you. At three, you have already redefined it. As long as you stick with the season and your clothes are clean, you have free reign to pick out your own outfits everyday. For a while, you would choose to wear your Little Mermaid pajamas (it looks like a house coat) out in public with your very worn sneakers (that you wear without socks). You take pride in your choices and you definitely own them- don’t ever lose that quality! You don’t like bows or pigtails in your hair so we cut it styled into a simple bob with bangs to keep your hair from hanging in your eyes. We take baths regularly, and you brush your teeth twice a day so cleanliness is a must but beyond that, you go with comfort. And really, isn’t that what’s most important? You love to run, climb, and tumble (at the park, you get sand in your hair and dirt on your face). For the one-hour of television you get to watch when I make dinner, you are usually watching it upside down on the couch in a headstand position.
Don’t let clothes or someone else’s standard of beauty confine you. Stay active and be healthy and never spend extra minutes analyzing how you look… there are far better things to do with your time!
Yes Ellie, I think you are gorgeous but what I love most about your face is how you show your emotions- I love your smile when it’s genuine and I love your furrowed brows when you problem solve and process information and I love your angry face when you pucker your mouth and narrow your eyes. I think you’re incredibly bright and observant too. You are creative, independent, and spunky. You care about others. You are strong and stubborn. Do you see how appearance dwindles in comparison to everything else? You are loved Ellie not because of how you look but because of who you are on the inside (and that my dear is true beauty). And Ellie, let me tell you that you are one of a kind. And I’m so glad that you are mine.
I love you, Mom