More Than Just A Pretty Face
Why I need to remind my daughter of all the wonderful qualities she possesses.
Whenever I’m out with my daughter in public, chances are high that a stranger is going to approach us and remark how incredibly beautiful Maggie is. I don’t welcome the attention but I understand it. Maggie is uncannily beautiful. In fact, the moment the doctor pulled her out of my wife’s stomach, he took one look at her purple swollen face and said, “She is gorgeous.”
All babies are cute in general. You’d be hard pressed to find an ugly baby. But Maggie’s features are so delicate and precise that she goes far beyond beautiful. She’s quite striking to look at, from any distance. On more than one occasion, I’ve been asked if she models (or told that she should be modeling). I know, I know—all parents think that their children are beautiful. I’m not any different. But even if Maggie weren’t my daughter, I’d still say that she is one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen.
I’m sure that you’ve noticed that I’ve been overusing the word “beautiful” throughout this column. I’m doing in on purpose. Maggie hears that she is beautiful constantly—from relatives, friends and strangers alike. It’s gotten to the point where I stop myself when I’m about to tell her how pretty she looks or how cute she is. I change the direction of my phrase and tell her how smart she is instead. I do this because the last thing I want to do is give my daughter a complex. I don’t want her to grow up thinking that her looks are her only asset.
I know that I’m not going to stop tell my daughter that she is beautiful and I’m not going to stop others from saying it, either. But I’m aware of the fact that I need to remind her of all the other incredible things she is as well. It’s like that old cliché—she’s more than just a pretty face. I want her to understand that most of all.
Maggie is funny and she makes me laugh every day. She’s also very smart and perceptive. She picks up on things so easily. Her ability to problem solve at such a young age continues to astound me. Maggie is kind and this is evident by her ability to share, give hugs and high fives to strangers, and kisses at bedtime. She’s adorably polite, even though she can’t fully say the word “please” and her version of “thank you” is a gentle fist pump. Maggie is also incredibly stubborn (she takes after her mother—her other mother, that is) and determined. She likes to push her boundaries. But she never, ever gets by on her looks.
Well, maybe sometimes.