Emerson once described beauty as, “God’s handwriting.” If it were true, then my daughter must be written by divine hands because in my world, there is no greater example of beauty. Aesthetically, she is stunning, with an easy smile and bright, sky eyes, but that isn’t what makes her beautiful. Whenever my husband or I tell her how pretty she is we follow with, “But what’s more important than being pretty?” to which she replies:
“Being smart, nice and kind.” And she is all of these. At four and a half she has a greater grasp of what matters than most people do in a lifetime. She is the first to share what she has, the first to offer to pray for someone who needs it, and the first to offer a hug without being asked. I never really anticipated that I would learn so much about faith from a child, but my daughter has a way of “seeing” people for what they need–for how they feel. Almost like a sixth sense, she tends to zero in on the emotions of others and read them for what they might try to hide. She exposes the best in people, the smiles they may not have given, the conversation they might not have shared. She is a wonder.
When my husband and I found out we were having my daughter, we were in Hawaii. Not able to get pregnant easily with our son, she was somewhat of a miracle to us. We decided to give her the middle name Kallea, which (in Hawaiian) translates as, “bright and clear.” Whether it’s what’s in a name or not, she has proven to have a supernatural ability to not only see the bright side, but be it. Markus Zusak once said, “Sometimes people are beautiful … just in what they are,” and that is her.
I feel like sometimes I have short-changed my kids in the “slow down and be there for them” kind of way. I am a busy person with a busy personality and I fear that sometimes, this will rub off on my children; so far, by the grace of God, it hasn’t. Instead, my daughter is patient to the extreme. She waits, endlessly, for my attention, for my time. I wish I could say I realized this early on, but I didn’t. It wasn’t until about six-months ago that I began our “stop and snuggle up” rule. I told her that whenever she felt the need, whenever she didn’t want to wait, she could say, “stop and snuggle up,” and I’d drop whatever I was doing, no matter how important, for the most important thing … her.
My daughter is a gift of sunshine to me, a brightness I didn’t expect or deserve. And my prayer is that I can grow up to be just like her–just as kind, just as giving, just as patient. I utterly adore her and her beautiful, bright and clear spirit. Like Jerry Spinelli once said, “She was bendable light: she shone around every corner of my day.” How blessed am I to have this dose of incandescence daily.
Think of the nightlight in your life, and then tell them they are.