Thursday, September 02, 2010

Beautiful Girl

This morning (once I realized Zoe was being more quiet than usual) I found my daughter in my bathroom. One of my lipsticks was in her left hand, fully extended and ready to apply all over her face, no doubt. The rest of my makeup lay scattered on the floor haphazardly. Pieces of my jewelry were strewn about her person: bracelets on her arms, multiple necklaces draped over her neck and a few over her princess crown and kitty ears that she’d decided on wearing earlier. In her right hand was a large clump of more jewelry... I’m not sure exactly what she had planned for it. She looked like she was either a pirate, a burglar, or perhaps an over accessorized beauty queen. When our eyes met, there was a moment of hesitation before we acted. I simultaneously wanted to grab my camera and scold her for the mess. She wanted to run with her loot while explaining why she had to have all this stuff. Zoe was faster than me.

As she raced passed me and through the door into my bedroom, she yelled out “I just wanted to be beautiful, my mommy!”

And that was where I was frozen in my tracks. This was the second time in as many days that she had said this to either me or Daniel. I answered the same way Daniel had yesterday:

“You were beautiful the day you were born.” and then I added “I know that you’re having fun playing with mama’s stuff, but do you know that you do not need the make up and jewelry to be beautiful?”

She stared at me and then quickly gripped the jewelry to her chest.

“No. I NEED it. I need it to be beautiful.”

“You are beautiful! And you are smart and funny and talented. And you know what else?”

“Nooooo.”

“You have such a kind heart and make people so happy, THAT is what makes you beautiful. You shine from the inside out.”

“Like the sun?”

“Yes. Almost exactly like that.”

She smiled at me and looked down before looking back up to tell me that I was beautiful too, but could she please just wear my jewelry now? And also... she needed her sunglasses right away “because the sun is bright!”

Beautiful Girl

As we picked up my things off the floor and put the jewelry away, I wondered to myself what more I could be doing. Should I not put makeup on around her? Have I made her think that I only feel beautiful with makeup and jewelry? Maybe I’m just over thinking all of this.

I realize that when she was going through my stuff she was not specifically thinking she needed it all to “be beautiful”. I know that what she wanted was to play with my stuff and be like her mommy and that when she was caught red handed she was searching for a “because” that would excuse the mess she’d created. I know that she might be learning that the beautiful button gets a reaction from Daniel and I. We just want so much for her to know that there are more important things, and that her beauty is all encompassing.

I want to spare her all the insecurities I ever felt/feel about my own appearance.

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