Every night it is the same routine with my daughter. We brush our teeth, wash up, give Daddy a hug and finally pajamas. Then we climb into her reading chair and read TWO stories of her choice. Every night it is the same.
To my surprise, a couple weeks ago, she picked out three books and with coy smile asked me, “Can we please read free (three) stories tonight, Mommy?” She was so cute and so polite, that I responded, “Okay, but… just because you’re so pretty.” She was more than proud of herself, smiling ear to ear.
A moment and expression that will forever be imprinted in my memory.
When I told her she was pretty, I wasn’t simplifying her beauty to outward views. I was proud of her for being sweet despite her exhaustion. I was thankful for her politeness. And, I wanted her to know that having the courage to ask questions is beautiful. I wanted her to identify that she was “pretty” in that moment.
As she grows into a little lady, I pray that she treasures the beautiful spirit that God gave her; that she cultivates her curiosity; and that she learns to identify “pretty” characteristics in others. When she recognizes beauty, I want her to say it. I want her to encourage others that their “pretty” does not go without recognition.
So often, we get uncomfortable complementing and encouraging others. The thought of stopping another mom in the grocery store to let her know she is doing a great job with her little ones seems crazy. We all just keep our heads down and “manage” our own little monkeys. But, think…if we learn to identify “pretty” what an encouragement we could be!
What an example we can be to our little loves.
My mom was definitely that for me. She had no fear of talking to strangers or of offering a motivating comment to a friend. She used to have us pray on the way to school and ask God to “show us how we could be a blessing to our friends.” At night, she would touch base with us and ask what we did for someone that day. People were always commenting on what a “great encourager” she was. I thought it was so strange that EVERYONE identified my mom as that… to me it was normal. Doesn’t everyone go into the day, looking for opportunities to encourage others? 🙂 Obviously not, we all live in a busy world and taking the time to notice someone’s “pretty” takes work, especially when you have kids in tow.
Nonetheless, I want to be what my mom was to me! I want to fight back against the mundane world-teach my daughter to catch a glimpse of other’s “pretty” and to shine light on it! I want her to be confident in herself, so that she can recognize beauty in others.
No matter her age or what “phase” she goes through in life, I will always look at my daughter and see my pretty little girl. I may have to look through strange hair colors, odd trends, or even beginner’s make-up. But, no matter what, she will always know that her “pretty” so much more than her outward appearance.
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”