In My Daughter's Eyes, These are Both Beautiful
My daughter brought me two bouquets today. One of beautiful, luscious tulips, just at their peak. One of scraggly, ratty dandelions. She said they were for my birthday. To her, these are both just the same. Two bunches of flowers for Mom.
To me, the difference was so obvious as to be laughable. Of course I would take pictures of the tulips, just so. Of course I would set the dandelions aside and toss them later, when she wasn't looking. Anyone would understand. Of course I would.
Until I saw her face. Her little face, looking down at the dandelions she had picked just for me as I was saying, "No, let's put those somewhere else." She didn’t understand, not at all. She had picked them both, the tulips and the dandelions, because to her they were both beautiful.
And it hit me. Aren't we like that with people, too?
We decide, in an instant, which of them is worthy of our attention.
Which ones are clever.
Or good at conversation.
But what about all the people who aren't?
Aren't they beautiful, too?
Aren't they worthy of our attention, our patience, our love?
I say yes.
Not that I'm a shining example, by the way. I have been angry and hurtful toward people who were less than easy. I have been angry because the way they interacted with the world (or with me) was inconvenient. Sometimes really really really inconvenient. I have been hurtful because I thought the way they interacted with the world (or with me) was a moral flaw. That something was "wrong" with them.
Yesterday in another forum I said, "Sharing your life with Asperger's or autism can wear you out, no matter how much compassion you have. How something can inspire such love and heartache and also be so exhausting and infuriating, I will never know." This is true.
But the thing is, aren't each of us flawed in our own way? Carrying our own baggage and issues and history into every situation, making mistakes, muddling through the best we can? And we are so thankful for grace, when other people are patient and loving and embrace us even with all our multitudes of flaws. I know I am. I am infinitely thankful for every person who looked past my awkwardness and discomfort and social clumsiness and decided to just love me anyway.
Thank you, to each one of you, who has given me that gift.
Some of us are just a little different.
And some of us a lot.
But we are all beautiful.
Thank you, Baby Girl, for giving me the gift of your unsullied, unbiased vision. Your heart is big enough to love us all, flaws included.
I hope mine can be, too.