Wednesday, August 20, 2014

You Are So Gorgeous AND...

For the last several weeks my news feed has been heavily sprinkled with amazing iphone-tography of school-bound children entering grades Preschool to College... and I love it! I love seeing the fresh faces of these children that are starting a new year of learning and growing. I love soaking up the images one by one, over and again.

I also love what I imagine BEHIND the photograph. I love that I can envision the behind the scene smile of the parents/grandparents/aunties/uncles that are taking those pictures. I can almost HEAR them say "Ok, Baby/Buddy/Bubby/Sweetie/Tiger... SMILE!!!!"  I can SEE the smile on the their faces and I can FEEL the pride that fills their hearts! I relate to every picture posted.

Because I relate, I also want to comment and share in the happiness that is being shared with me. I want to say something about all these ponytails, faux-hawks, curly locks, new tennis shoes, bright white socks, rockin' t-shirts, crisp uniforms, beautiful smiles, twinkly eyes, fresh attitudes, clean slates, and bright futures.

But what do I say?

I automatically start typing "Gorgeous" "Pretty" "Handsome" "Adorable" "Cute"... and then I cringe.

I cringe because several years ago I read a poignant article about how comments about someones beauty (male or female) may actually perpetuate what I despise... that life is all about how we look.

YUCK! Life is not all about how we look!

The article talked about being more purposeful in compliments by digging deeper and being more specific about the things we love about the people in our life.  Examples: You are so kind. You are gentle. You are so strong. You are intuitive. You are good at math. You are an excellent problem solver. You are a natural at chemistry. You really know your way around a soccer field... and on and on and on.

But the thing is, on Facebook, maybe we don't know much of the details of someone... we just blatantly see that they are indeed "cute".

And what I have decided is that is okay, for me. In fact, CUTE is just fine! Wait, let's ramp it up!

CUTE IS AWESOME!

And it's not ALL!

So yea, I will dig deeper. I will share more and give more, and look to the inside of what someone has to offer and I will draw that out, too. But I am NOT going to ignore a person's "cover" so to speak. The outside, our package, is a part of who we are!  A part. I will acknowledge and compliment that part and I will also look inside to the core of a person, too... somehow, someway, genuinely.

If you are nodding your head and thinking this works for you, too, then join me! Next time you see the cutie-pie in the new school outfit with the too big backpack and the brightest smile... go ahead and comment with "Cute!" And add in a little extra... "So excited for you to grow smarter, kinder, and stronger this year!"

And if you really do know the person - be specific. The soccer ball tucked under an arm or the book in their hand or the guitar over their shoulder may just be the clue you need to know they are more than just "cute".

Here are some photos of friends and their beautiful, smart, kind, strong, mischievous, sporty, determined kids. One of these children is mine, some of them belong to dear friends and each one of them is heart-stoppingly, uniquely exquisite...inside and out!
 

 These two beauties are also incredibly kind, calm, excellent with young kids,
value their family, and take their studies serious.
 This handsome fella is also a true gentleman, is kind, takes care of his
little brother, is confidant, goofy, and tender-hearted.
 Gorgeous. She is! She is also gregarious, goofy, inquisitive, honest,
and an excellent communicator. Did I mention spirited? But you can see that!
 These 3 are my family. I held each as a baby and watched them become beautiful little people.
Emma is beautiful and artistic! Ethan is handsome and strong/gentle. Abbie is beautiful and clever.
 Oh Adalay, you take my breath away... with a beauty that is way beyond your appearance. I see her as beauty on the inside that cannot help but shine outward. She is also a protector and helper.
Oh, this girl. She is mine. And I flat admit I think she is gorgeous as they can come! And I know she is also very intuitive and perspicacious! I think at age 9 she has already outsmarted me.
* Poignant Article That Effected Me

** Also, the picture of the boy in glasses - he takes after his momma.. his momma who is also very fashionable and a photographer! Check her out on Facebook at Kali Matthews Photography!

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