Beautiful

“I have the most beautiful baby in the world,” I thought to myself as I held my new baby daughter, my firstborn.  Her perfectly round head, her sky-blue eyes, and her blond fuzz of hair a top her head.  I truly thought she couldn’t get more beautiful.  From head to toe, everything about her seemed perfect.

I continued to be awed by her beauty.  In fact, I was self-conscious about her good looks. I tried to downplay how cute I thought she was, because I didn’t want to appear too proud.  I was certain that her extraordinary beauty was evident to anyone who saw her. Why wouldn’t I think so?  People were constantly oohing and ahhing about her cuteness and beauty and perfection and preciousness (something I now realize is common with most any baby, not just mine!).

I had a friend at the time who also had a child very close in age to Kiersten.  I’m embarrassed to admit that secretly I thought Kiersten was much cuter…and I wondered if it was hard for her to be around me with my extra-cute baby.  I tried to rave as much as I could about the cuteness of her baby, so she wouldn’t feel bad.

Then, reality struck.  My friend confided in me that she thought her child was the cutest baby in the world.  I couldn’t believe my ears!  I was amazed ~ and relieved ~ that she felt that way.  Amazed because I didn’t think her child was nearly as cute as Kiersten, and relieved because I no longer needed to be self-conscious about Kiersten’s incredible cuteness when I was around my friend.  She wasn’t phased one bit by that…she had eyes only for her child.  Apparently, and amazingly, she felt the same way about her baby that I did about mine.

That’s when I began to wonder if all moms felt that way about their children.  As I was walking around thinking that I clearly had the cutest child of all, maybe others were thinking the same thing about their children.

This thought was confirmed as reality when I joined facebook.  Like me, many of my friends are the parents of young children.  Daily, I read status statements of friends and family members about their children, most of them relating to the pride and love they have for these precious gifts given to them.  I read updates about their child’s accomplishments and milestones reached.  I’ve viewed hundreds of pictures, and even videos, which capture something cute, adorable, or special about their children.  I myself, am included in this phenomenon.  I am so full of love for my children (and, yes, still think they are the cutest things ever), that I want to share their pictures, quotes, milestones, and accomplishments with anyone who shows the least bit of interest.  I am amazed and awed to observe the love and pride so many other mommies (and daddies) have for their children.

What a beautiful reality that we all think are children are the cutest and best things ever.  God, in his wonderful design, has provided for so many children to have their own “fan club,” so to speak, in the form of their parents.*  It warms my heart to read and observe the love that so many parents have, and express, for their children.  And it amazes me to know God planned it this way.  In this great, big – and sometimes scary -world, God provided children with parents to unconditionally love them.

I recently read an article in a magazine for moms, that captures this idea.  This idea that God has made us mommies to love our children, and see the beauty in our children, like no one else can.  After sharing a moment when she was telling her daughter that she was pretty, just like the necklace her nineteen-month-old was admiring, the author reflects on that interaction:

“I don’t have much to offer my child.  I’m not the most accomplished, nor the most creative nor the mot purposeful of mothers.  Little words for a little girl ~ that’s my specialty.  But maybe my words, and all the gushing-out love that I hope to convey with them, are enough to guide my daughter gently into a life of peace with others and God and self.  Maybe she will remember these little moments as a grown woman and, despite how disappointingly brief they seem to me, she will string them together proudly, like emerald beads on a gold chain.  Maybe she will savor them, treasure them, twiddle them in her fingers and cling to them when life seems devoid of warmth, lacking in sacredness.  Maybe she will remember her mother’s words…”

He designed us parents not only to see our children as wonderful and beautiful, but to tell them they are.  It is His design that our love for them will fill them up as they live in this world.  And ultimately, I believe, to give them a taste of the love God has for them.

It’s a gift to our children that we see them as beautiful.

*Because we live in an imperfect world, sadly, not all children are blessed to be born into a family or a situation where this unconditional love is present.  For them, my heart aches, and I can only trust and pray that God will provide for them and redeem them from their the lack of love and nurture they may be experiencing.

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