“Am I beautiful now, mama?”
My heart immediately fell to my stomach.
“What do you mean, now?”
“Now that my hair is all done. I’m beautiful right?”
My stomach began to turn. My mind started to race. Why was she questioning this? Doesn’t she already know? I tell her everyday how beautiful she is. I wanted to yell at the world.
“Baby girl, you are beautiful every moment of every day.”
I put my hand on her heart and pulled her in close.
“Because styling your hair doesn’t make you beautiful. And wearing certain colors or styles doesn’t make you beautiful. What makes you beautiful is the person you are. Do you know where beauty really comes from?”
She thought for a minute. And I tapped my fingers that were still resting on her heart.
“From inside here. And your beautiful heart shines so bright it makes you incredibly beautiful. Because you are kind and smart. You are creative and brave. You use good manners and stand up for yourself. You are a tremendous big sister and you have a wonderful imagination.”
I could feel her heart start to beat a little stronger. I squeezed her tight.
“You are so beautiful, baby girl, and I hope you never stop believing it.”
She stood up and brushed her freshly braided hair off her shoulder.
“I know, Mama. You are beautiful too.”
Jennifer Lee blogs at Chasing Feenerella. Reprinted with permission.