Before you were born, sweet girl, I would complain about the thickness and unruly nature of my hair. I would hide my eyes under shadows and liners. I tried to change those things about my body; change and hide what I thought needed to be hidden. 

And then came you! Free, alive, uninhibited in all your glory. I never saw anything nearly as lovely as you. I often find myself looking at you, in wonder at how beautiful you are. Your unruly, stunning dark curls of unspoken independence and strong will. Your shining eyes, how they so easily reflect the joy you seem to always experience from life. 

People say to me, "There is so much of you in her...she has your hair, your eyes." And after the many hours of observing you in awe, I am overwhelmed with the realization that what people are saying is true! It took me seeing myself in you to realize that I too have perfectly, unruly dark hair, and eyes that reflect all the joy in my life—of which you are a huge part. Nothing needs to be changed or hidden. We are both beautiful. 

So today, I think I will leave my hair unruly, take the makeup off my eyes, embrace and love the beautiful features we share. To my beautiful daughter, thank you for helping me see the beauty in myself and for being a part of my circle of change. What a wonderful gift you have given me!

About the author: Kristen Aust is a loyal supporter of the work done at Ophelia’s Place and Café 407.  She believes strongly in supporting the initiatives through Ophelia’s Place, that empower people and promote love and acceptance.  As a profession, Kristen provides assistance to the Career Services teams at the 19 Bryant & Stratton College campuses through training, coaching, and strategic planning. Her ideal day includes a walk in the woods, cooking dinner and spending time with the people she loves, including her favorite guy and beautiful daughter