“You’re so sweet.” I said to my three year old girl after she had ditched her dinner to run into my room where I was resting and planted about 27 kisses, one after the other, on my cheek. She started twirling around on the spot and very matter of factly replied, “No Mum, I’m bootifful!” and continued twirling confidently with her cheeky smile, repeating, “I’m bootifful, I’m bootifful!”
I looked at her twirling next to me – in her pyjamas, hair half fallen out of it’s messy bun and smears of dinner on her face – and my heart melted. I was so smitten by her, looking with love pouring out of my heart at how precious she is, and so captivated…she knew the truth…she IS beautiful. But suddenly, part of my insides felt shattered…what if that truth gets stolen from her one day and she believes the lie that invades so many girls’ lives?
To be honest she has always challenged me…from the moment she was born, her slimy little body placed on my chest, and I heard the midwives say, “it’s a girl.” I was petrified in that moment. What if I didn’t know how to raise a girl? I grew up being a tom boy. I’d rather be trying to get my head around the mechanics of a car or chasing stinky cows around a paddock with their sloppy turds splashing up on me (ok, just kidding about the turds). I used to show up the boys when we were ringing sheep nuts and trying to shear sheep, and was the usual instigator of mud wars. I’d never had nails in my life until I started hair dressing and I snorted every time I laughed. And while I loved being a girl, and despite guy after guy confessing their undying ‘love’ for me throughout my teenage years, I had fallen for that lie…I wasn’t beautiful.
After holding my sweet baby girl’s little body against mine that morning she was born, I pep talked myself in the hospital. I can raise a confident girl…heck I can even raise a girly girl.
I love her soul – she is sweetness to the core. She sings her way through the day, and will dance to every ad break on tv, every time I sing around the house, every song that plays…she will dance and dance. I caught her one day dancing to an ad on tv, when her brother changed the channel halfway through, she turned around and pointed her finger at him, narrowed her piercing, blue eyes down and said, “You let me dance!” Haha…she gets so mad at him when he does that. She’s so abandoned, so unashamed, so confident and bright.
And I think that one of our roles as parents to our little ones is to daily build them up. And Dad’s with girls…you take the lead with this! To speak into them the truth of who they really are, before the world tells them otherwise. To not just verbally encourage them and build them, but show them their worth through our actions, and our time we give them.
But on top of this…model it to them in your own life. Walk your own life in confidence. Challenge yourself to know and believe your true beauty and uniqueness – just like you want your children to. Model to them not just how to treat others, which is so important, but how also to treat YOURSELF. There are so many aspects to this. Model it in your marriage…how you and your spouse treat each other – this is so important! Model it to them in your relationship with your friends and your family.
Model it in your relationship with yourself.
Place value on others, but don’t forget to place value on yourself. Physically, mentally, emotionally….
They watch us, their eyes are ever present soaking in how we do things – the big and the little. And from my little girl who is only three years old…I am so challenged to better myself, and believe in myself, and be a role model that she needs and will continue to need as she grows up.
Because we all want our girls to know, that despite what the world may tell them…the TRUTH is that they are beautiful, they are valuable, they are unique,
and they are E N O U G H…