You, you my dear, have got to be the most beautiful little girl ever. I just stare at you all the time and wonder how I got such a pretty little thing. I love your curls. I love your sweet skin. I love your pudgy arms and legs, the budah belly, and your long eye lashes. I even love your bed head.
But you have also opened my eyes in so many ways. The way you are such a little copy cat (something your brother NEVER had done) makes me realize the example I am setting for you. You try your best to get your leg up on the foot board of the bed to "put" on lotion like I'm doing. You want to sit on the bathroom counter while I put on make up, and yesterday when I looked down you had opened a tube of hand cream and was rubbing some on your face as I applied sunscreen. You want your nails done with mine, and wanted your necklace off on Sunday until I pointed out the necklace I was wearing.
So what am I doing to help encourage all of this budding self esteem? Is watching me put on makeup while saying "Look! Pretty Momma is back!" really helping you discover your true inner beauty? I'm going with no. I so hope over the next 15 years I can help you to realize that true beauty comes from a gentle heart, a caring soul, an attitude of compassion. Kind and loving words make a far deeper impression than the make up you put on. Unless you put on an absolute ridiculous amount of make up. That can make quite the impression too. (and not the kind you want) So, I'm trying my best to set the example I want you to have. I will pledge, as your mother, to show you what it's like to not be just a woman, but a woman of God. And lady. Always be a lady. I hope that as you watch me deal with people, you learn how to treat fellow children of God. How to deal with the pressures of the world in a Christlike manner. How to be the kind of woman God designed you to be.
Baby, please don't ever forget how beautiful you are. There are going to be people who make you feel ugly. There are going to be days where you hate every part of you. There will be pressure to look certain ways. But don't listen to the lies. Be you. All the way. Because it truly is enough. And I know that one day is coming where you won't want to do what I do. You'll roll your eyes at how old fashioned I am, and start the painful/awkward/necessary transition into being your own person.
I do promise that it gets better though. If you don't believe me, just look at my middle school pictures. You'll figure out what to do with your hair, realize that clothes CAN fit your body (which I promise looks fantastic), and which shade of eyeshadow really makes your eyes pop. Not that that will matter in the long run. Because you'll also figure out you have a Savior who loves you no matter what- no matter what you look like, feel like, have done, or will do, and that His transformation will make your already beautiful heart shine.
Sweet Evan Elaine. I love you. Grow up well, little girl.