Monday, June 14, 2010

In Daddy's Eyes

When Laura was just four years old her mother looked down and saw that one of her blue eyes had started turning toward her nose. Together they marched into a Washington optometrist’s office and a couple of hours later, Laura had her first pair of glasses.

Unfortunately, those glasses were neither sleek nor stylish. Even worse than being about as thick as the bottom of a soda bottle, they were bifocals, too. During the drive home her mom tried to encourage Laura to think positively about wearing glasses, but she dreaded what she was certain her friends would say when they saw her wearing those massive, ugly bifocals.

But more than she feared what her friends might say, Laura worried about how her dad would react to the change of her appearance.

That evening when her dad arrived home from work, Laura shied away and tried to hide her face. Having gotten an advance notice from mom about his daughter’s worry, he sat down at the kitchen table and called her to his side. She nervously stood before him as he took a long look at her face and studied her glasses. Then, with the utmost conviction and authority, he said, “You look beautiful. Go to the mirror and see for yourself; you're a movie star.”

Laura walked sheepishly into the bathroom and gazed into the mirror, repeating to herself her father's words, “you look beautiful.” Turning her head from side to side, looking at her face and glasses from all possible angles, she finally smiled.

“I do look like a movie star,” she told herself.

Any feelings of self-doubt and insecurity were swept away as she repeated her father’s words over and over again. When she turned away from the mirror she was ready to deal with anything that anybody else might have to say about her glasses. Her dad thought she was beautiful in spite of those bifocals and his opinion on that subject was the only one that mattered to her.

As she looks back at photographs from those days Laura sees she looked nothing like a movie star. But in that simple conversation that occurred twenty-eight years ago, her dad did more than reassure her about her appearance. He let her know that in his eyes, she would always be beautiful. He would always see the best in her.

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