This morning while doing Gwen’s hair she gazed into the mirror, batted her eyelashes and said, “Mommy, I’m pretty.” This isn’t something that is new. She is an adorable child and often hears that she is cute, beautiful and pretty but something that we strive to do is also make sure she knows she is more than just pretty.
“Gwendolyn, do you know what else you are?”
“Oh, what?” she eagerly anticipated my answer, knowing I would list off other fun qualities we adore about her.
“You are intelligent,” I smiled as I replied back to her.
She thought for a second and then looked a bit timid and said, “I’m smart, that’s smart right?”
“Yep, that’s smart, a smart cookie.”
I knew I could spout off answers but today I decided to ask her what else she thought she was. I was curious to hear what she would say. I stopped doing her hair, looked into her eyes in the mirror and asked, “What else are you Gwenny?”
Putting a finger to her lips and looking at the ceiling she paused. Thinking for a minute she finally said, “hmmm, well I’m fun AND funny.”
With laughter I told her yes, “What else?”
“Oh I’m nice, I’m nice and I’m kind,” pausing she then giggled “mostests of the times.”
“Is that all, or is there more? I bet there is more,” I prodded. I was enjoying seeing the inner workings of that three-year old mind of hers.
In a big rush she exclaimed, “I silly, and nice, and sweet, and important, and a hero, and a princess, and a Mario, and a critter, and a sister, and fast, and I can write G-W-E-N, and I love.”
Pausing as my heart melted I looked at her in the mirror. She wasn’t looking at me at all, but shining with pride as she looked into her own eyes. I struggled not to let my suddenly overwhelming emotions take control and I simply replied, “Yep Gwendolyn Olive, you sure are love.”
One day when my energetic and amazing three year old is a teenager and she faces the challenges she will no doubt face I will pull this post out for her, so she knows that not only does her family think she is all these things, but she really does too. A friend of mine made the following comment on this photo collection of Gwen that I had posted on Facebook.
She’s so precious!! I hope when she’s a teen she looks back and says “Man! I’ve ALWAYS been awesome!”
I LOVE that, and I just want to add to that for her to read later in life. Just for my little miracle girl:
I hope you really do look back and realize that you have always been awesome. In a world where many women still fight for equality, baby, you can do anything. Take it from a mommy who decided in her thirties to go back to school, and realized that she is just as smart as all those pre-med students. Love yourself little baby, and be kind not only to others but to yourself as well. Love your energy, spunk, body, friendships, character, personality, and the ability you have to bring those who know you so much joy. You will have hard times in the future, everybody does.
Always remember you are a daughter of God. You were sent here to this family, at this time for a reason. Already in the three short years I’ve known you, you have changed my world for the better. Your relationship with your brother is one I never imagined he would have with anyone, you did that Gwenny. You pulled him out of his shell from the minute you were mobile and decided he should interact with you. You had a tenacious drive, and honey it paid off. You taught him how to pretend and how to make friends.
Always be true to yourself. Respect and love yourself and others will continue to see the shinning light that you are.