From the backseat I heard her say: “I’m not beautiful Mommy.” My heart sank.
And I knew I had this chance, and maybe only this chance, to help her understand that she is incredibly beautiful. To have her believe in her own beauty. With only my words in that moment.
When she couldn’t really explain why she said that or felt that way (she’s not even four years old, it’s hard to even know if she understood or believed what she said, but I had to assume that since she’s a smart girl, she did), I immediately countered by telling her that she is beautiful – her brain, her strong body, her spirit, her face. Then I got real.
I quickly pulled up Webster’s Dictionary on my phone to do a quick search for the precise definition:
1: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit
Then I went deep. I gave an example of her beauty as it relates to each of my senses and that beauty makes a person feel joy when they see, smell, taste, hear or touch something beautiful. That her beauty makes me, and those who know her, happy.
Her name means “shining light,” and she truly embodies that. She looks at the world with wisdom and brightens the space around her. But it’s so hard to help your child understand this at such a young age. To understand and believe that her beauty radiates from within and shines all over. That her beauty is a noun.
Photo credit: Gwendolyn Waite Photography