Sunday, February 28, 2010

Being A Doll

A couple of weeks ago, I surprised J by taking her out for breakfast early on a Saturday morning. As is her wont, she stood in front of the menu for a good fifteen minutes, trying to figure out which kind of bagel she wanted and if the strawberry smoothie was the drink to go with it.

While we stood there waiting for epiphany to strike J, a cute  toddler waddled up to me with a doll tucked in her arm. "My doll's name is Millie" she said to me and then pointing to J she asked "What's your doll's name ?". Her parents and I burst out laughing and I told the little person "You know, she's not a doll. She actually walks and talks just like us."

Millie's owner considered this piece of information about J somewhat skeptically but did note that J was smiling at her. Her mom said to her "She may not be a doll, but she really is very pretty isn't she". We ordered, got our bagels and drink and left. On the way back J realized that she had been complimented on her appearance and felt rather pleased with herself. Overzealous mom that I am, I could not let such a "teachable moment" go waste.

I pointed out to J that  physical beauty is directly related to the goodness of a person's heart. As long as she continues to be a good and kind person she will remain pretty but if she loses that inner beauty, the outward perfection will disappear too. If she became vain, unkind or arrogant, she would no longer seem quite so doll-like. If she likes how she looks, she must continue to be a good kid and never forget the importance of humility.

J is no stranger to having strangers come up and tell her how pretty she is, so I have taken it upon myself to temper that with lessons I believe will help build her confidence and self-esteem in ways that have nothing to do with her physical appearance. I hope for her sake and mine that I can prevail and that my methods are right.



What about the mommy? Happy? Proud?

Heartcrossings said...

life refactored - Grateful more than anything else..