Friday, May 6, 2011

Now Let's Never Mention That Again

The other day while we were at the park, my four year old daughter looked up at me and, very seriously, asked me, "Mom...why aren't people staring at me and telling me that I am a beautiful princess?"

I'm pretty sure my jaw hit the floor.

Then I remembered she'd spent the last three days in the dress she wore in my brother's wedding in October, the dress she wore in my other brother's wedding a few weeks ago, and her Christmas dress. She has been covered in more tulle, sparkles and satin than is normal and had been receiving comments everywhere we went about being a Princess.

By golly, that day she was only wearing a plain ol' little brown sun dress.

And people had the audacity to not stare and comment.

In that moment I saw every insecurity I have as a woman in my sweet little daughter. I know how desperate I am for approval, how much I want to be noticed. It seems so silly that after 31 years of life and 10 years of marriage I still need affirmations from those around me.

"See? I've lost five pounds!"
"Did you notice my new jeans?"
"I got a new hair cut!"
"Well...yeah, I've been working out a little."

The thing is, I get approval all the time. My husband never ceases to let a day go by without telling me a) how beautiful I am to him b) what a good mother I am c) what a good cook I am and d) how much he loves me. My children are a little less obvious with their affections but still, they affirm me. I get the morning snuggles, they need me to kiss their owies to make them better, they come to me when something is wrong...and I get unsolicited "I love you's" from them. I am affirmed by them every single day.

More than that...I know how much I am valued by God. There are countless Bible verses telling me how much He cares for me and beyond those, I have seen Him answer my prayers, felt Him touch me and heard Him speak to my heart. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am loved, cherished and wanted by Him.

Still and yet ... I look to others to affirm me.

I think this is a constant struggle, not just for me, but for women everywhere. And I hate, passionately, that this struggle is already beginning to manifest itself in my daughter.

What to do?

First, I reminded Brooklyn how much her Daddy and I love her. I reminded her that Daddy says she is pretty and the most beautiful little girl he knows. Remember?
"Yes. Daddy says I'm his favorite little girl."
Then I reminded her how much God loves her.
"Yes. Jesus loves me."
Isn't that enough?
She looked at me and smiled and said, "Yes. It is enough."

And you know what? It was enough for her! She didn't sit by me and say, "Are you sure? Are you sure you think I'm a beautiful princess? Are you sure God thinks I'm a beautiful princess? I don't hair is kind of messy today. I still have peanut butter smeared across my cheek from lunch. I did smash some food on the front of my dress. Are you sure I look ok, Mom?"

She never mentioned it again.

I want to be like that.

I want to be like my daughter. When insecurity rears up and makes me question myself, my ability or my worth, I want to be able to say to God, and my husband, "You are enough."

And never mention it again.

1 comment:

apathyisafad said...

That's really quite profound. That should be enough for me too. It's not only women who have problems with this stuff. I think insecurity is at least modern America's middle name. It's hard to know for sure in a world that says you can't. Perfect love (like we have in and from Christ) casts out all fear. Christians may be the only people in the world who can claim to have that solid of a foundation, and isn't sad that we often forget?