From Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul

All That Glitters

Whatsoever things are lovely . . . think on these things.

Philippians 4:8

“Don’t you just think they are absolutely beautiful, Mom?” Savannah asked.

“Sure, hon.” I tossed a distracted answer over my shoulder as I fruitlessly searched for sensible black Mary Janes, girls size ten.

“Oh, can’t we get them, pah-leeze?”

I looked into the dancing brown eyes of my four-year-old. Clasped in her hands were white slip-ons, covered in silver glitter. Oh, but what really attracted her were the shoes’ one-and-a-half-inch heels. My little girl loved to play dress-up.

“Savannah, black shoes are better for church. They go with everything and don’t show dirt,” I insisted, ever practical.

“I don’t like black. It’s ugly. I think God would like these sparkling shoes better. It looks like they have been covered in snow.” She waved the gaudy slippers under my nose.

Looking at the stubborn set of her chin, I had to admire her defense. Savannah, like God, was drawn to all things lovely.

Realizing she’d gained ground, she cajoled again, “Pah-leeze? They’ve got magical snow on ‘em, just like the Sugar Plum Fairy!”

This shopping trip was winding down a rare girls’-day-out to see The Nutcracker—her first ballet and a truly special time for the two of us. I melted under the spell of the moment—and my daughter—just like I had so many times before.

The slippers sparked the memory of another day spent together. The two of us were walking through the snowy woods at our country home, admiring winter’s beauty.

“Mom,” Savannah commented, “it sure has been ugly around here since fall. It’s a good thing God made it snow. But do you think he’ll get in trouble for dumping glitter all over the place?”

And I recalled the family reunion when someone told her she was growing like a weed. “I don’t want to grow like a weed,” Savannah had pouted. “I want to grow like a flower!”

And what about last Christmas? When she saw baby Jesus in a nativity scene, Savannah was beside herself. “Why didn’t they give him a bed? I bet that ugly hay gave him the itches and made him sneeze!”

I was jolted back to the here and now when Savannah called out, “Look at me, Mom, look at me! Aren’t I just lovely?” She was pirouetting down the aisle in her fairy slippers, the price tag still attached. Music from The Nutcracker filtered from the intercom.

Coincidence? I thought not.

I pray she keeps this love of finding and wanting beauty in life. I tossed the magical shoes into our shopping cart.

Sensible? Perhaps not. But I had no doubt in my mind— and heart—that it was the right thing, the lovely thing to do.

Stephanie Ray Brown

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