She runs to the door to greet me with her curious smile. “I like your hair.” I smile back at her, “Thank you!” “And your boots and your skirt. You look VERY pretty.” “Aw, thank you!” She takes off running and, though she’s only three, I suddenly feel like one of my biggest inner questions has been answered. Why yes, Stephanie, you ARE pretty. I’m twenty-seven and the questions that we attribute to haunting just middle and high school-ers, find me still.
I walk into her classroom, looking for her. Of all the busy bodies, I still haven’t spotted the one I came for. I wonder where the cute little blue-eyed, blonde must be playing today and silently pray that she’s had a good day with her friends. I glance around the room and our eyes meet. She drops what she’s doing and comes running…
“Hey cutie! How was your day?”
She bypasses that question and instead I’m greeted with “Look! I’m wearing my gingerbread dress!” She’s so excited, she’s dancing. “Don’t I look pretty?”
“You always look pretty! But I DO really like your gingerbread dress.”
“And my striped shirt and brown pants. I’m gonna look so cute at dinner.”
She’s three and she’s already wondering if she’s pretty. I silently pray that she isn’t already seeking her identity in the opinion of someone else. Was this really when it started for me? I know the struggle full well; these questions of: Am I pretty? Am I enough? Am I too much, overwhelming? Do you think I’m beautiful? Do I have what it takes?
As we drive to dinner, listening to “Dirt Road Prayer”, I pray silently that I will know how to show her that our Creator thinks we are pretty, inside and out. And that should be enough! And that while it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks, she shouldn’t have to wonder if I think she’s pretty. She should already be hearing it…