This morning I ran across this blog. It’s a hilarious capture of a free-spirited young mom and her journey as a mother to a three-year-old little girl named Adriana.
Here is a brief piece of her post in which she eventually submitted to Reader’s Digest:
Adriana: Nobody outside thinks I’m pretty!
Me: I’m sorry, what?
Adriana: Nobody outside is lookin’ at me!
Me: But we haven’t even left the house yet!
Adriana: But nobody doesn’t think I’m beautiful!
Me: Everyone thinks you’re beautiful. Why do you think Brian threw snowballs at you yesterday? Because he thinks you’re cute.
Adriana: But nobody even saw my nail polish!
Mark (my husband): Yes, Brian saw it yesterday…
Me: …and the lady at Starbucks commented on it right away!
Mark: That was a lady?
Me: No, a different lady. There was a woman there.
Me: Anyway, everyone thinks you’re beautiful.
Adriana: But nobody thinks my old clothes are pretty.
Alright, now I’m really stumped. How could she be thinking these things? Has advertising somehow infiltrated her three-year-old consciousness? But this is why we don’t watch the Disney channel! She watches only limited amounts of PBS and wears practical but fashionable clothing bought on-sale at The Children’s Place. Where have I gone wrong?
Me: Adriana, life isn’t about being beautiful like that. It’s nice when you have your nails done and your hair looks good and you have new clothes on, but you’re beautiful because you’re a beautiful person. On the inside. So that’s that.
Adriana just smiled and bounced off, back into her bedroom. The gurgling of the coffee maker subsided in favor of the toddler babble I’ve become so accustomed to as my background soundtrack. A ray of sunlight crept in through the window, and peace was restored again.
After reading this I immediately logged into my email and sent the article off to my mom. Here’s what I shared:
Found this on one of my mommy blog sites this morning.
I SO enjoyed reading this because I can remember the EXACT same conversation once upon a time--as I sat in the back seat of our family car, on the way to preschool, one morning.
I’ll admit, throughout the years I’ve loved the materials things in life that make us feel great. But, for my entire life, I’ve never forgotten the very first time you explained to me the real meaning of being beautiful.
I was a lucky little girl, who will go on to become beautiful women (and hopefully a beautiful mommy myself someday) because of the affirmations from you—my mother.
Thanks for encouraging me to be a beautiful person.
This was her response:
This is such a nice note... thank you. You remember the most amazing things. With the memories you've shared with me, I can continue to encourage young parents to keep up the positive talk. Little ears and minds take in and absorb so much more than you can ever imagine as a parent.
You are a beautiful person and so often over the years, you've stopped me in my tracks from judging and making that negative comment that could so easily slip out.
XoXo to you my love!
Clearly, I am not a mom—so I am hardly one to provoke comment here—but please, if you are blessed with daughters, teach them the meaning of beauty. The real, soul-empowering, kind-hearted, non-superficial meaning.
As women and young girls today, we are growing up in world where the concept of beauty is distorted and confusing. Where insecurity and peer bullying are tragically stealing the lives of young people, everyday. Teach your children the importance of humility and compassion. Teach them what it means to be beautiful people. They will hear you.