A conversation that I had with my daughter tonight, about the movie Shrek, turned into a life lesson for her AND myself!
L... Mommy, Fiona isn't very beautiful as an Ogre.
Me... Maybe she is beautiful inside.
L... Where inside?
Me... Her heart might be beautiful.
L... Is it decorated with love?
Firstly, I say....How sweet is she?!? Obviously we are trying to instill a belief in our daughter that just because a person might not look beautiful on the outside doesn't mean that they aren't on the inside. It's pretty much something every parent hopes that their kid "gets" sooner rather than later in life.
I could bring up my Grandma as a "case subject". L calls her "The Mama" to differentiate between her Grandma, and both of my Grandmas. What can I say? She's very very loved. Good thing! Anyway, my Grandma can give some deadly looks without ever knowing that she has. She still wears curlers to bed to curl her hair from "back in the day". If she finds sneakers that she likes at yard sales and they are too tight, no problem, she just cuts the tips of the sneakers off. Then jauntily walks around with her toes poking out. My Grandma has been known to... wear polka dots with stripes, buy baby blue leisure suits, match hot pink and mint green, and wear toilet paper doily covers as hats. All this having been done while she was completely totally unexplainably sane. Seriously, could I make this up?!?
But.....She has the biggest most beautiful heart I may ever have the privilege to know! I have spent hours in her basement slathering on shaving cream, Ben Gay ointment, and baby powder into her legs in an effort to "heal" her, while she studiously read. That was during my I-want-to-be-a-nurse-when-I-grow-up phase. My cousins and I have gone on countless treasure hunts and had many auctions at her house for the holidays. I was allowed to explore her attic and basement for hours at a time, letting my imagination run wild. She has donated her money and countless hours to various causes that she felt deeply about. She is the most Godly woman I know and her heart is truly pure. I could go on for hours if we had the time.
L is too young to appreciate my Grandma's example as of yet. I am assuming that my Mom will be around for many years to carry on my Grandma's fantastic example of "Grandma-hood" for L. So for now I kept the lesson I could teach her as simple as possible.
After thinking about this all later I came to realize that I could quite possibly admit to being a little hypocritical about this. I have gained a few pounds in the last year. Sometimes my ankle cracks when I walk. My hands and feet swell. I unconsciously groan as I get up from the couch at times. And I don't always have the energy to care enough to dress semi-well if I am staying in all day with L. So knowing all this there are times that I can get drawn into feeling wholly un-beautiful. Who could blame a person for this?
I've realized that I shouldn't let myself fall into this thought. Because even if I have big black and blue bags under my eyes and sausage fingers...my heart is still "decorated with love". Love for my God, family and friends. Love for the simple things in life. And more love than I know what to do with coming back at me from my family and friends. My daughter being the biggest most beautiful conduit of all.
How can anyone feel ugly once they've thought about all the love their hearts are decorated with?!?