Even more importantly, Libby was lovely on the inside. She had a heart that could feel others’ hurts. And she took notice of people everywhere, always going out of her way to give a smile or kind word.
Built into Libby was her own sense of style. From her earliest words and abilities to communicate, Libby dictated strongly what she would and would not wear. “I want to wear the rainbow dress and the pink striped leggings,” she would direct. Her ideas did not fit tradition, but on Libby her fashion sense worked perfectly.
Libby especially thought her mom was beautiful, along with her Aunt Wanda and Aunt Angie. She wanted to look just like them when she grew up.
When Libby started preschool, her natural sensitivity made her pick up on things that confused her. Why did kids make fun of other kids? Wasn’t everyone beautiful?
Because Libby considered herself a beautiful princess in every sense of the word, beauty concerned her. If everyone wasn’t beautiful, she wanted to make sure she was one of the few beautiful people. Whatever that meant, it was important to her. And she would make it happen. This became so important to her that she started choosing her friends on their appearance. It made for a lot of stress on a 4 year old princess.
At some point Libby noted that beautiful princesses do not have curly hair. Out came the children’s scissors from the crafts drawer and down came pieces of Libby’s gorgeous hair. This happened again and again until Princess Libby started to look like Ragamuffin Libby.
When Grandma came to visit at Christmas, she noted her bedraggled princess and told Libby this story–this very true story.
“There once was a young woman who was very sick. Her name was Nancy. Nancy had 2 young children just like your mommy. As a matter of fact she was a little younger than your mom is now.”
“Nancy was so sick that she had to take many medicines. The medicines were supposed to make her better but they did not. However, they did make her hair fall out. Nancy, with the help of God, did finally get better.”
“However, her hair which had been curly came back in perfectly straight when she was well again. Nancy had always hated her curly hair–she wanted to have straight hair. When she finally got her wish and had straight hair, it looked funny–not at all good. Nancy started getting permanents to get back her curly hair. She laughed as she told people, ‘God knows what he is doing. We only think we can improve on his design.’”
Grandma told this story then waited to see how Libby’s magnificent young brain would process this information. Grandma is still waiting,
but she feels sure that Libby will discover that true beauty is so much more than curly and straight hair or brown and blue eyes. True beauty is love that takes action. Kindness that persists. Patience that does not fail. True beauty is like a tree that puts out nourishing fruit. Everyone who gathers around that tree is blessed by its shade, its strength and its good fruit.