You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.
This one is about: Beholding Beauty
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by Joanne Green
The question is posed - - should we tell our children that they are beautiful? Does it teach them to be too concerned with looks? Does it encourage vanity? And what happens when they hear differently from others out in "the world"? Will they think we lied to them? Will it confuse them?
My answer to that is as follows:
My children ARE beautiful. It may be mommy vision, but Mommy is not blind. I tell them, and I show them over and over again that they are indeed beautiful -- in face, yes, but more so in heart and in spirit and in mind.
Why do all mommies see pristine beauty in their child? I
believe God put it there. He put beauty in our eyes so that we could use that vision
to paint a foundation for our children upon which to build their own self image. What
if others tell them otherwise??? Well, then maybe they learn to achieve balance. What
if others told them otherwise, and we had not built that foundation first? Then the
child would have no option but to believe the lies of the others: Those whose own
ugliness of jealousy, or narrow-mindedness, or bigotry would be allowed to shade our
child's image of
I don't want that for my child. When my child paints his self portrait of the heart, I want him painting with a full palette. The spectacular colors of his beauty, the shadings of his faults. The highlights of promise, the texture of experience. And all of it gathered upon the foundation based upon a reflection of the image I gave him of the beautiful child I held in my arms and loved. It is the first gift we give to our children -- and the legacy they hand down to our grandchildren.
When you look at that angelic sleeping face, then it is your gift to him to tell him what you see. Sweep that pouty little face into your hands and kiss the lip that sticks out to there. He sees his own face only a few times a day - when he happens to look into a mirror. But all day long he sees the reflection of his image from your eyes.
Is he beautiful -- truly beautiful -- in your eyes??? Then let him know that.