It's funny how the universe works. Sometimes the best lessons are learned when we least expect them.
Ella lost another tooth last weekend. Another front tooth. Which means an adorable little toothless grin to cherish for a short time, and a little girl who talks so cute . . . it's almost unbearable.
When she lost it, we oooo'd and ahhhh'd over her. She is missing both top teeth, and a bottom tooth as well. Poor thing. It's a challenge to have three missing teeth at the same time. Eating requires some strategy as to the correct placement of food, and talking can be a bit frustrating for one who does so much of it.
But she is a trooper.
As we all made a fuss over her toothless state, I stopped and observed her reaction to our reaction.
I began to think that maybe we were making it a negative thing for this little girl. Words like, "Oh, poor sissy . . . how will you eat?" and "Oh, you poor girl . . . three teeth gone at the same time. That's so hard," came from each of us, and I immediately stopped myself. I didn't like how it sounded. I wanted to CELEBRATE this amazing moment in her life, and I realized that it didn't quite sound like I was celebrating it.
So I sat watching her as she intensely focused on her little notebook with pencil in hand. She didn't look up much at all of us, and kept working so feverishly on her book.
Then, she tore off the piece of paper, and handed it to me . . .
There she was . . . all 6 years of her . . . and showing her Mommy what really mattered.
I looked at that paper, and tears filled up in my eyes.
She loves herself.
"Yep, baby," I said, "that is COMPLETELY right! You are AWESOME! Missing teeth, and all!"
And she grinned that amazing, dimpled, toothless grin at me.
I don't know if I could have ever said "I love me" when I was 6 years old. I don't know if I realized how important it was, or what a necessity it is, to be able to say that. I had no idea how . . . to love yourself.
It's taken me 42 years to learn to love myself. To accept myself.
And I still am working on that.
But Ella . . . she's got it down.
And I couldn't be prouder.
That universe. It always reminds me of what I really need to hear. And I am so grateful for it.
Peace, my friends. With Love.