Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I'm Pretty and You are Pretty Too.

The first time your son tells you that you are pretty it hits you hard.

Or at least it did me.

Pretty is not something he hears all the time. It's not something I tell him or something that I refer to myself as. We might say the sky is pretty or that the Christmas tree is pretty, but we don't really talk about others being pretty. 

I tell him that he's handsome. That he's cute. But you don't really go around telling little boys that they are pretty. And I don't overly put an emphasis on looks with him.

You often hear people tell you that in motherhood, the days are long, but the years are short. I believe that…I tell myself that all the time, you know to remind myself when the days feel like years and the years begin to look like eternity. The day my son told me I was pretty was one of those looong days those people were referring to because, well, this happened…

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Long story short, he used a pair of small scissors to cut his baby brother out of the pack-n-play while I was vacuuming. Sometimes in parenthood, you don't know whether to laugh or cry. 

His reasoning was that he was upset that "his best friend" was in baby jail. His nearly one year old little brother, his best friend. My heart exploded.

While your hearts full of love and you are choking back laughter there is still a tiny part of you that is upset with this bad deed that has been done. There are still punishments to be dealt, life lessons to be taught and toddler mayhem (aka outburst of feelings) have to be exhaustively combated. 

A good day turns long in an instant. Tears are shed long after they should have been dried. Patience erodes. 

I had long handed them off to my husband that night when I was about to take Ethan to bed. I had taken a much needed mommy moment. The rare, peaceful shower. 

While my hair was half wet, half frizzed, Ethan grabbed my face and said "I like your hair. I love you. You are pretty mama.".

It was so unexpected. The words froze time just for a moment. I gave him the biggest hug while a tear ran down my cheek.

I don't feel pretty most days. I feel run down, used up and half put together if at all put together. Although I may not feel any older, I do look it. I try to keep my grays covered up as much as possible, I avoid mirrors more than I use to, my skin isn't as taught as it once was and I haven't seen a fashion magazine in years.

But my son doesn't define pretty in the way I typically do. 

He sees me as his caretaker, as someone who tries to make him happy. He sees me as his mama. And part of me, deep down, does think that he outwardly sees beauty in me. And while I might not win any beauty contests, I can walk a little taller and smile a little bigger. The inner beauty is shining through.

Yep, there is that overly expressive forehead that the dermatologist suggested calming down with Botox about a couple of months ago.

Mamas, we need to view ourselves less through the eyes of the world and more through the eyes of the child. Their views have yet to be clouded by others and truth spills out of their mouths without fear. Your children see you as beautiful because they see your inner beauty and that is all that should matter.

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  1. I love this :) I feel like the word pretty is very much in our vocabulary and we try to hard to emphasize that beauty comes from the inside, and that they're beautiful in their pjs with messy hair, or in their dresses for church, because it's about their heart. I feel like we say this on rinse and repeat ALL the time. That being said, it still does warm my heart when Em comes bouncing upstairs and tells me that I'm her "bootiful bootiful mommy!" and compliments me. I feel like it's a good thing to foster that in them, that beauty is something to be complimented and noticed--inside and outside (not just a person, a beautiful rose garden, etc). ALSO...forehead wrinkle twins. ;)

  2. Oh wow…the pack & play episode is one of the funniest toddler stories I've ever heard. I'm sure it's not funny right now, but seriously- I almost wish my kid would do that so I could tell that story!

  3. The days are most definitely so long some days, but in 3 short years I've learned the years go quickly. You are so great at cherishing these moments with your boys. I had one of these moments just last night when I told Meyer he was my favorite boy in the whole wide world. He looked at me and so honestly replied, "and you're my favorite gurwl in the whole wide world!" Let's bottle these sweet boys up forever and ever!

  4. This is so beautiful, Laura. I cried/laughed when Ethan broke Jackson out of baby jail and now knowing more behind the story it's even more sweet!

  5. No way, breaking his brother out of jail, lol. Too cute. Certainly memorable.
    Cute kids.


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