Our Fantastic Family Of Four Forever Believes

"Other things may change us, but we start and end with family" Anthony Brandt

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"MOMMY, DO YOU THINK I'M PRETTY?"

As most of you already know, a couple of weeks ago, Bailee stayed home sick.She had a stuffy nose and a sore throat. She has been fighting allergies a lot this year. She was running no fever, but I could tell that she was not feeling well. So, knowing this, I gathered all the necessities needed for our "sick day."I gathered up all medicines, fluids(Sprite, her favorite when sick) and lots and lots of Kleenex! We both were going to need them!I put all this on the nightstand, for I was used to this routine, we have done this many times before.When my children are sick, they love to be in the bed,all snug and covered up with many blankets, and their momma! Each one has their own special way of how they want to be taking care of. For Bailee loves for us to lie on our right side, me holding her waist.She has been that way since birth.
So we had a day of cuddling, sleeping, and we talked about Jerry.It amazes me sometimes that Bailee and I know what the other one is thinking.She can always tell when something is bothering me.When I look sad, she knows whats wrong.She looks at me and says.."You miss daddy, don't you?"And when I see her gloomy, I say to her.."You miss daddy?, Don't worry he is coming home soon." And we are both right.I know Bailee is going to be a great wife and mother. She is always so considerate and would do anything in the world for someone. Even at the cost of her own happiness, JUST like her daddy, Jerry.

While we were cuddled up in the bed, she turned at look at me and said..."Mommy, do you think I'm pretty?" And without any hesitation I said, "Of course I think you're pretty, you are very pretty."She then proceeded to say that she didn't feel pretty. She said there were somethings that she wanted to change about herself, mainly her body. I soon started to get sick at my stomach, I felt knots in stomach. How could she think that she is not pretty, she was prefect just the way she was. She didn't need to change ANYTHING. Have I done something or said something that made her think this way? How could this beautiful little girl think that? Then I am to wonder if someone had told her that she wasn't pretty.But then again, she would have told me, for my children know they can always talk to me about anything. Our relationships with each other are and have always been rock solid.
I was starting to feel defensive, for if someone did tell her this, I wanted to know who, and why. But, I knew deep in my heart, that would not be the right way to handle this type of situation. I was a role model,my children look to me for guidance, and how to act and behave and I must act like Jesus would. So I ask her if someone told her that she wasn't pretty or did someone say something not nice to her. She told me.."No, I would have told you mommy, I tell you everything." Ok, I was feeling little less angry, and more compassionate. But, I had to figure out why she felt this way, help her to realize that she was pretty.And I had to show and tell her that being pretty on the outside is not always the best thing. It was the "Inside" not the "Outside" that made someone pretty.So I told that that to her and she somewhat understood the analogy. Then I proceeded to ask her what she would rather be, pretty inside or pretty outside. I also told her that someone can be very very pretty outside, and they can be not so pretty inside. She responded this way..."But, mommy, you are pretty inside and out, I want to be like you." I was soon swarmed with feelings of guilt. for I didn't think I was worthy enough of her praise and her adoration to me. I had let her down so many times, and even though I did let her down, she still thought so highly of me.I had never thought of myself as pretty, nor did I think I was non-attractive. I thought I was average, just like everyone else. I never thought of my self as anything special, but my little girl thought I was.Sometimes when we ask someones opinion on certain issues, we get the answer we want, not the assurance that we want out of the answer. When we ask a friend things like 'Do you think I look great" or "Does this dress look good on me?" or "Does my hair look good?" when dread the outcome because when it really comes down to it, we know that they are not going to hurt our feelings for the sake of the friendship. We or should I say me knows that they are going to tell us what we want to hear, for what kind of friends would say you don't look good in that dress! I'm talking about friends in general, hopefully your best friend can be honest with you! I am guilty of it. We as humans have a defense mechanism. Even if they told us the truth, we would take offense to it, so its really a no win situation. But, with my children, it's different. My children know that I will love them no matter what they say or what they do. We can always been honest with each other. But of course their is the occasional "oh, yea, I really wasn't telling you the whole truth." But for the most part, honesty is with in us! My love for them is unconditional. That doesn't mean I excuse disobedience, It just simply means I love you, and I forgive you. I believed my Bailee, for she was my daughter, and she was being honest. She thought of me as a pretty, and in turn, I thought of her the same way. This was the point I was trying to get across to her. I soon started to feel the tears in my eyes. How can I reassure her and tell her that she was the same way as her mother. I was trying so hard to hold back the tears, for I want my children's childhood memories of me to be of good times, and laughter, not of me crying all the time, even though it is ok to cry every once in a while, just not all the time. Sometimes... OK.. a lot of the times my emotions get the best of me.When Bailee saw the tears rolling down my cheek, she looked at me with the sweetest eyes and the most lovable face, and said this,"Mommy, don't cry, you will mess up your pretty blue eyes." I have been around children most of my life in one way or another, and a normal response from a 9 year old would be why are you crying? But my little girl saw something deeper,something more than tears. She was looking inward, not outward, she was looking in my eyes, and she was a reflection of me, it was her. For, I knew after I told her what I had to say, she would finally get. I dried my eyes and said this to her. "Bailee, Do you think that you look like mommy?" She said, "Yes, I think we look just alike, people tell me that all the time." There was confirmation after this being said... "Bailee, if you think mommy is pretty then doesn't that mean you are pretty too?" She looked at me and smiled, and with a look so loving and a look of reassurance, she said this last thing.."Yea, mommy, you are right, I am pretty." So she finally understood that even though we sometimes don't feel pretty, we are in our hearts, and in the way we love and treats others. Bailee and I are beautiful to each other, mainly in our hearts, where the opportunities lie for us to love each other, forgive another,and others, and mainly to have the capacity and understanding of trying to see past physical beauty and see what is lying underneath just the physical stuff. We went back to sleep, holding one another with smiles of contentment on our faces.



8 comments:

Dorsey said...

Isn't it funny how we mommies somewhat enjoy it when our babies are sick? I used to be allowed in my mother's bed when sick and able to be waited on and watch old movies all day. If it was a weekend, she and I would just snuggle and call to our cabana boy (read: my dad) for more refreshments. hehe Its so fantastic to hear about great mother/daughter relationships.

Danielle said...

Thanks Dorsey! I so enjoy taking care of them! It's been hard on me this week because they are not home with me anymore. You have them during the summer,spending so much time with them, then school starts back, and you feel somewhat lost without them. I look forward to building a very strong relationship with Bailee, she's my only girl!! And I love her so much! Thanks for the comment Dorsey!

AudreyO said...

Danielle,

Oh my gosh, I have so much to say (go figure LOL). First off, what does she want to change? I believe it's really "normal" for girls preteen to begin to become very aware of their own feminity. For example, I see she wears glasses. Both of my girsl got contacts in junior high. They both became self conscious about the glasses.

Also, their bodies begin to change. All of a sudden there are curves and bumps where none existed before. It's natural to ask "is this right?" Also, girls start to notice boys and want to look nice.

Yes, it's a fine line. It's great to want to look nice as long as it's not obsessive.

My next comment, is it possible you're reacting to your own childhood and those things you felt and went through and in you're praying your own daughter doesn't go through that, you're putting more into her comment/s than was really there?

Ok...I'll stop there. You're a great mom. I know you'll be able to help her through these next many years.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know where to start... I love the cuddle times... but as a woman, once a girl... I know how desperately I wanted to be taller and thinner, and not have as broad of shoulders... THE SHOULDERS! I've always been short/stocky - like a gymnast. Big/solid legs, broad shoulders. And my sister and all my cousins were TALL & THIN! I remember in 7th grade being measured for my first cheerleading outfit - the mom measuring said "wow... for as small as you are, you sure have BROAD shoulders!" - WHY! Or, people would say "you have such a pretty face" -- code for - too bad you aren't taller or thinner, more modelesque. "She's such a good dancer, too bad she's not taller".. AACK - what we do to our children! Well, my son is chubby and he will outgrow it... and if he doesn't, I dare someone to call him fat! Or say he isn't good enough!
I'm just trying to tell you I feel your pain!
Hugs & Blessings,
em

Danielle said...

I get where you are coming from.And I see your point. Maybe I did read into it too much.I think what got me was that I was off guard. I didn't expect her to say that, and when she did, I kinda lost it, I became upset for I felt someone told her that. And your right, their bodies are somewhat changing, and maybe it is "normal" to say those things, BUT I was not prepared for it.I am a drama queen at heart, and I take things sometimes too literally, so does Bailee LOL thanks for your insight, as always, I value your opinion!!!

Willow said...

Boy, I so miss the days when my boys would let me cuddle them at all. They're 14 and 18 now and uh, no, not happening, Mom!

I think, as someone else said, that maybe she is at an age where she is just becoming more aware of her body. I think you did just the right thing, stressing that pretty on the inside is more important that pretty on the outside while reassuring her that she is both. Maybe this is a good time to teach her about healthy eating habits and how food is fuel for the body and all that kind of thing if you haven't already. Also another reader mentioned about the glasses -- she is at the age where I was when "4 eyes" and "crater face" (I had early acne) became a part of my life so do what you can to bolster her self esteem so when she meets up with the mean kids (and she will, we all do) that she can handle herself well.

Seems like you're on a good track. That "I tell you everything, mommy" is about as good as it gets!

Danielle said...

You're right! I treasure the fact that she does tell me everything!! I know that I often read too much into a situation like this... My mom would have just blown it off, as to where I "blow" it out to be a "big deal" I just want her to know that God made her and He DOES NOT make mistakes!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with those who left comments. She is growing up and her body is changing, and she might be a little scared about it. But I do think thatwhat you did is great! Trying to get her to know that she is special and she pretty, on the outside as well in the inside. Really, she is very pretty, and I think you are a great mom.