If you read the title and felt offended, I’m sorry. I’m really not putting you down, I promise! It’s actually a direct quote someone said to me.
Given, he was three.
The other day, a boy I nanny and I were discussing how pretty the clouds were, as they caught and suspended the rosy light from the sunset in the still-blue sky. In response to his questions, I explained why the clouds were “funny colors”. We agreed they looked pretty.
“What else is pretty?” I asked him. He pointed at his drawing on the fridge, smiling proudly. Laughing, I asked “Is Mama pretty? Is Miss Erika pretty?”
He shook his head. “You’re not pretty, you’re Erika!” At first, I was offended. Then I remembered he was three, and I tried to consider it from his perspective.
To him, colors are pretty. Art is pretty. Flowers are pretty.
People? Not so much. People are nice, silly, and smart. I dwelled on his comment long after he’d moved on to running laps around the house in the fading sunlight. Why should pretty define me? I am so much more. A quote from Britt Nicole that I’ve always loved addresses that:
“We get so worried about being pretty. Let’s be pretty kind. Pretty funny. Pretty smart. Pretty strong.”
Preach. I don’t want to be defined in the term “pretty”. I want to be known for who I am. I’m not pretty, I’m Erika. And Erika is, and can be, so much more than pretty. Sharp, driven, caring, intentional, wise, brave, encouraging. I don’t need to strive for pretty, because pretty is a step down.
Neither do you. You are so much more than pretty.
Isn’t that freeing?
With his simple, straightforward, 3-year-old wisdom, my little man gave me a precious reminder of who I am, and what I am not. That kid is going places.