July 25, 2011

When They Ask Difficult Questions

"Mommy, what's ugly mean?"  Large, troubled, blue eyes seek my face. 
At eight, she's never heard the word.  We don't use it.  Where did she hear it today?

"Well, it is the opposite of pretty," I stumble, searching for words to explain.  I pause, and start again, "It can mean different things depending on how it is used." 

I inhale, and plunge forward with the question I don't really want to ask.  "Where did you hear the word?"

Wide eyed, innocent, she explains, "I heard a child call another child ugly."

My heart sinks. 
How best to explain?

Words tumble about my mind and slip out, audible only for her.  "Daddy and I don't use that word, because we don't believe physical appearances define a person.  God looks at people's hearts, and that's how we should look at others as well."

I pause. 
Waiting for her to understand this part before I continue.

"Do you think it is honoring to God to call another names?"
She shakes her head side to side.

"Does it show love to another person?"
Again, her head sways in the air.

She waits, expecting more.

"We must remember that people are so much more than what we see on the outside.  And, we should treat others as we would like to be treated."
She smiles, recognizing full well The Golden Rule.

"One more thing," I smile wide, take her hands in mine.  "Daddy and I think you are pretty on the outside, but more importantly, we think you are beautiful on the inside, too."

Joy covers her face.  Her blue eyes twinkle.

We embrace for a moment.
She lets go first.
"Thanks, Mom," she calls as she skips out the door.


  1. Beautiful, indeed. She understands what's important.

  2. great job, mama!!! sounds like she has a pretty mama too! :)

  3. Lovely words to explain an "ugly" word. great job :)

  4. I think that you did a great job Mom of explaining this concept to your daughter. :)


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