It was an ordinary day of the week and I was getting ready for work. My hair was done. My makeup was on. I wore a casual, but hip, outfit and I sat on the edge of my bed, putting my socks on. My nine year old daughter, Ferne, sat on the floor about three feet away, tying her own shoes, getting ready for school.
Out of the blue, she looked up at me and said, “Mom, I love you.”
Delighted, yet taken by surprise, I said, “Ferne, I love you too. What made you say that? What was the trigger for you?”
She replied, “You know, Mom, I was just looking at you, and I really think you’re beautiful.”
“Wow Ferne, thank you so much. That is such a nice compliment.” I was beaming from ear to ear. It’s not every day a mother receives unsolicited flattery from her children.
She continued, “You may not be the skinniest person in the world, but you really are beautiful.”
For a moment, the wind was taken out of my sails and everything came to a brief stop. I had to regain my composure.
The conversation with my daughter gave me a choice to make. To focus on the fact that she thought I was beautiful, or to focus on not being the skinniest person in the world. One felt good and one didn’t so much. It was my choice. I went to look in the mirror for my own assessment.
For a forty year old, I was still pretty hot, and clearly my daughter shared the same opinion. “You know what, Ferne? Being the skinniest person in the world isn’t so important. But it is important to look in the mirror and like what you see. When we stand together and look in the mirror I see two beautiful women, you and me. Ferne, I really do think that you are beautiful, inside and out.”
I carried on with my day knowing I had a great story to share.