“Mommy, you’re beautiful.”
These are the words that my two year-old, Avery, muttered to me while I was standing half-naked at my closet searching for something to wear one day recently.
“Thank you,” I responded and smiled back at her.
“I help you pick out a dress?” she asked in her high-pitched toddler voice.
“Of course!” I answered.
I picked her up and put her on my hip as she skimmed through my closet looking for something for me to wear. As she scanned, she immediately saw a bright pink dress that I had bought years ago to wear to a wedding.
“This one!” she yelled.
I knew that the dress was way too fancy to go and run errands in for the day, but I still had plenty of time before we had to leave, so I told her I’d put it on. She’s had a fascination with pink dresses lately and it’s the only thing she requests when she gets dressed in the morning.
I slipped on the dress and immediately her eyes lit up. “Mommy, I love it. Now spin around,” she demanded.
I twirled around just like I’ve seen my girls do in their princess dresses during dress-up time. Just as I was spinning, my oldest daughter Harlan walked in. She laughed and asked what we were doing and I told her that we were playing dress-up because Avery found a dress that she wanted me to wear.
I continued to spin around in my dress and as I did, the girls laughed. Before I knew it we were all twirling in our dresses. Soon after, we stopped twirling and fell to the ground in laughter. Both girls came over to my lap and I gave them a huge hug.
It all started out with three words, “Mommy you’re beautiful.” Truthfully, I needed to hear those words that morning. As I had stood there staring at the clothes in my closest that fit last year but were still a bit tight from my post-Macks body, I didn’t feel very beautiful. I try not to focus on how my body has changed since I had children, but some days the differences are just way too obvious for me to ignore.
But it’s on those days that my daughters come to my rescue. They both tell me I’m beautiful all the time. And it’s not when I’m dressed in my fanciest clothes, have on a full face of make-up, or with my hair done. They tell me I’m beautiful when I’m still in my pajamas, haven’t washed my hair in days, or am standing in front of my closet with my post-baby belly out and all. My girls don’t see beauty the way that I do — and that’s a good thing.
As the girls sat on my lap post-twirl session, I felt beautiful. My heart was filled with so much joy. And that’s when I knew that’s what beauty is all about.
Photo courtesy of Lindsey Belle