Last night, my oldest daughter turned 13. I have to admit, I am not sure I was totally prepared for 6 teenage girls to descend upon our home. The giggling, the screaming, the running, the eating, and the list goes on! But the part I want to share with you occurred when the first friend arrived.
Just outside of my daughter’s door, hanging in the hallway, is a portrait I took of her about a year ago. I found this AH-MAZING couture dress at a photography conference, had to have it, and had to put my daughters in it. Initially, I purchased the dress for my 8 year old to wear. It is a very girly dress, with lots of lace and tulle. And my oldest wasn’t really into this kind of dress. But she peaked an interest and we set up a time to get her all dressed up and said we would take her 12 year old pictures in it. We headed to a beautiful art museum and just started posing and shooting. And she was gorgeous!
We printed a portrait, had it framed, and hung it just outside her door as the gentle reminder that she is beautiful, she is capable and she is able to do anything she wants.
So, last night, her first party guest arrives. Squealing begins as they head to her room to hang out. They get to just outside her room and I hear a conversation.
Friend: Who is this in this picture?
Daughter: That’s me!
Friend: Really?!? You look so beautiful!
Daughter: (shyly) Thank you.
Friend: When did you take this? Who took it?
Daughter: (screaming from upstairs) Mom, when did we take the picture of me in the hallway?
Me: We took it last year for your 12th birthday. We wanted to remember you just like that.
Friend: Wow! You are just so pretty!
Daughter: (smiles happily)
You see, that was the point of the session and the portrait on the wall. I want her reminded daily through more than words from me that she is beautiful, she can be anything she wants, and loving herself is the very best kind of love she can give. It will carry her when she doesn’t feel like she is enough and push her to be the very best that she can be. And it certainly helps when her friends notice and comment as well!
Now, every time I walk passed that portrait, I remember that day. I remember her shyness in the beginning and how she overcame that to really believe that she looks amazing. And she sees it too. She sees that she is beautiful, even though the growing pains and awkwardness of finding. her way through the teen years now. She can see that she can love herself exactly as she is because she is more than enough. And if she allows that self-love to stay, she can move mountains!
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