I like to use the moments when my kids want to talk about something to answer with some sagely advice. You know, those teachable moments. Recently, though, I found myself on the learning end of a conversation with my five year old daughter, Jessie.
As I drove down the road, she in the back seat said, “Mom, people tell me I’m beautiful a lot.”
“That’s great,” I said. Then I decided to teacher her about beauty being in the eye of the beholder.
So, I said, “But if someone does not think you are beautiful, that doesn’t mean you are not. Everyone has different ideas of beauty.”
Jessie said, “Has anyone ever told you that you are not beautiful?”
Not really thinking about it too much, I wanted to get my point across, so I said, “Yes. I’m sure someone has told me before that I am not beautiful or pretty. But that’s OK, because I have had plenty say I am. Do you understand what I mean by that? Everyone thinks of beauty differently.”
Jessie replied, “Well, yes, I understand. And if anyone ever tells my mom again that she is not beautiful, I’m going to kick them in the butt real hard and run!”
I may not have gotten my point across, but I’m feeling very protected.
As a parent, I want my children protected from the harshness of the world. I never want anyone to tell my daughter that she’s not beautiful, or make my son feel weak. I want them both to love themselves. But I also know that overcoming the opinions of others is a great lesson in life. I would be shocked to find a person who has not had to get this message the hard way. So I have to assume my kids will not be immune to it.
My hope is that when my daughter (or son) comes to me, I can make them feel as loved as Jessie made me feel the day she was going to kick butt for the honor of my beauty.
Today, I appreciate the protection from the people who love me, exactly as I am.