Truly thankful for the gifts God gave me and for the person He made me to be, I am also grateful that it is definitely what’s inside that counts. I try to care for my appearance even with all the new wrinkles that show themselves these days. Smile lines, perhaps. Yes, I am comfortable with being me, and so I can honestly say that I have never been … “cute.” Thankfully I have family and friends who don’t seem to notice what’s on the outside, but who love me for who I am within.
I am still crazy about Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. When my second book club read it last month I did something I never do – I read it a second time. In so many ways, it was even better than the first time I read it.
Haven’t read it yet? Stop right now and go get you a copy!
But I digress… At our book club the discussion leader said the author emphatically stated that when the movie is made (Reece Witherspoon has bought the rights!), the actors who play both Tate and Chase have to be … cute.
Of course they do.
In writing her book about loneliness and acceptance, and in her own personal life, the author knows how hard it is when someone doesn’t fit in. And when you are young, being cute is definitely a foot in the door of acceptance, whether we like to admit that or not.
As teachers, we have all seen how hard it is for the “different” child to fit in. Although I am thankful to say that I think we are improving as a society on that point as we embrace and promote individuality. But still, not looking like everyone else can be hard. It is often much easier to be … cute.
A young friend of mine has recently had her first child. She and her husband had to face some tough realities during their pregnancy. Their strength is inspirational and encouraging. They knew their child would be born with some disabilities. Actually, several problems. And he was.
While she was pregnant, she went to a baby shower for a friend and came home telling her husband how everyone went on and on about how cute the baby was. “What if our child isn’t cute?” she asked him. Yes, even with all their other concerns, she couldn’t help but want her child to be … cute.
Her telling me this broke my heart. Then I looked at her precious son in that hospital bed and said, “Honey, he is SO cute!” And he is.
Then she told me this story:
In their first days at the NICU (it’s been 2 1/2 months now) she noticed that each morning the nurse would list goals for the day for her baby. Things like, “Rest well,” and “Breathe deeper,” and “Gain weight.”
One morning the nurse put “Be cute” on that list, and then beside it put a big green check mark. ✅ Done. He had already accomplished that goal!
”She will never know how much that meant to me,” said my friend. “I know it seems trivial, but I am so glad that my baby is cute. He will have enough to face without that to overcome.”
I am glad, too. And I pray he has friends like mine, that see with clear eyes to focus on what is on the inside. That’s where his strength really lies.
I am praying for you, my little friend, and for your mom and dad, too, and I ask God to help you stay brave, and strong, and … cute.