She was sitting across from me on our reading chair, our snuggle chair, eating breakfast from a ziplock bag-her new favorite way to eat and store her treasures. We were having some impromptu one on one.Her brother was in the man cave doing his thing, the baby sound asleep up stairs and her daddy was outside getting some fresh air….There’s something special about Sunday mornings.
She’s the infamous middle child, sandwiched between the first born,the only boy and a baby sister with some health concerns, the girls are so close in age they are able share clothing…yet she’s in the middle, caught between being a little sister to her brother and a big sister to our baby…
We’ve consciously made it a priority to spend time one on one with each of our children as much as possible, acutely aware of the human need to be seen, heard, acknowledged and treated as an individual. To have your qualities recognized and supported by your parents is so very important,to know you are loved unconditionally, no matter what. On this particular Sunday morning it was not a planned Hope and Mommy time just a fortunate occurance….turns out sometimes those are the best moments❣
As she sat acrossed from me in her heart dress, ziploc breakfast in hand, the sun hitting her at just the right angle, I grabbed my phone to take her picture and said….”Hopee you are so beautiful”….I snapped the picture and looked down at my phone to edit the moment I had just captured. She quietly jumped off the chair, came around through the kitchen so she was behind my chair and positioned herself, so she could be side by side with me, so she could see what I was looking at, so she could see the photo I had just captured and with her raspy, sweet, Stevie Nicks voice, spunky eyes and vibrant smile, she asked me….
“What makes me beautiful?”
I paused, to be honest when I stated she was beautiful, I was solely focused on her physical appearance in that moment, then I looked back down at that picture and could see her charismatic personality shining through.
We’ve recently been propelled into a world of Cranio-Facial Awareness, prior to this, we’ve often preached to our children to look on the inside of a person, rather than the name brand they are wearing, the logo on the shoes or what they look like on the outside…we played lip service to this nice statement, but I’m not sure we fully modelled it, that is until we had our own child with cranio facial differences and realized the importance of seeing past the physical body.
I’m guilty of often paying compliments to my children based on the clothes they were wearing, the way they had done their hair, the prettiness of the outfit…..the cosmetic stuff. When our youngest child was born with Cranio-facial differences and we became more involved in that world,seeking support and learning from others, we came to truly understand how important it is not to focus on the physical appearance but to see past the physical and to seek the unique and special qualities of a human soul.
When I looked back up at Hope standing their awaiting my answer, into her sweet face, I replied…Hope these are the things that make you beautiful :
How kind you are and how much you like to share…..
How you look out for your brother and sister…..
How much you notice how other people are feeling……
How you always say what’s on your mind……..
But most of all what makes you beautiful Hope, is your heart❤
She looked at me and smiled, turned and walked away….moved on to a new thing, our conversation lasted less than 30 seconds and she was gone.
The following night shortly after supper, she was playing by me, while I sipped on my coffee and caught up on the news. I looked over at her playing and quietly asked “Hopee what makes you beautiful”, not really knowing how she would respond. She looked up at me, and with a radiant smile, spunky eyes and raspy voice, she replied…….. My heart makes me beautiful……and just as she had done the day before, she dropped our gaze, turned and started to play.
My heart makes me beautiful❤
-Eleanor HOPE Marr Age 3