02 Feb 2014

What to teach your daughter about Bruno Mars and love songs

“When I see your face, there’s not a thing that I would change
Because you’re amazing just the way you are….
If perfect’s what you’re looking for then just stay the same.” ~Bruno Mars

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Twenty-one is a magic age.

I remember.

At twenty-one I thought I was awkward and too thin and my hair never curled right. My skin was too pale, I told myself.

At 21 I didn’t know I was beautiful the way I know it looking back from nearly 40. Looking back. That beautiful girl whose self-confidence wasn’t as tall as her high heels. What I wouldn’t give for her jean size.

“When I see your face, there’s not a thing that I would change…”

The radio croons lullabies for teenagers too insecure to know that they will never have the hips or lips or curves or skin that they have now. And one day they will out grow all that unwrinkled life and wake up to three children and a towel thrown down the center of the bed where the baby threw up at 3 am.

They will need a love song then more than they ever could have imagined while cruising around town in their dad’s hand me down.

So while Bruno croons promises to ten thousand smitten teens, I whisper to my tiny wisp of a daughter under cover of her dreams – remember to ask him how the song ends.

Those boys who come and serenade and sweep you up in the rock and rhythm of romance remember to ask out loud just exactly what he means.

Ask him–

— will you sing me a love song when I’m not eighteen anymore? When I’m not 21?

Will you tell me I’m beautiful when this flat belly has curved to cup three babies?

Will you still want to rub my feet when they’ve walked miles rocking kids?

Will you tell me I’m beautiful when these arms that used to shimmy the tank tops are softer, fuller, wobblier than they were that first night I wrapped them around your neck?

Fifteen years and will you still sing me a love song on the nights the baby’s just thrown up down my front and my hair is limp and as tired as the rest of me?

When make up is what my daughter is playing with and not what I spent hours applying, when I’m wearing the glasses with the busted earpiece – will you tell me I’m beautiful then?

Will you love my scars?

Will you kiss my broken heart, my unbeautiful knee all busted up from five stitches and clumsy feet?

Will you see perfect in the reflection of gap-toothed kids when you look in my eyes?

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And baby…

Will I have raised you brave enough to look deep into his eyes and tell him, “there’s not a thing that I would change, because I’m amazing just the way I am.”

 

Comments

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  1. 1

    And Amen! to that. All else is fleeting, but that forever love is harder to find, but so worth the work.

  2. 2

    Yes. Trying to teach my daughter, who is inching towards womanhood, the very same thing. Thank you for your beautiful words.

  3. 3

    perfect, lisa jo. thank you.

  4. 4

    And even if our own messages don’t get through, might HE be the ultimate teacher of our girls and boys. Might He give them a passion to honor who He created them to be; to honor Him in them.

  5. 5

    “remember to ask him how the song ends”. Yes! Yes! Yes! I so wish I had asked some guys along the way “how this song ends” when they said all the right things, but something just didn’t seem to be clicking.

    I have precious opportunities now, while my child still thinks I hung the moon and stars, to plant little seeds like this. It’s wonderful that you help remind us to seize those moments.

  6. 6

    yep, its good.

  7. 7
    AineMistig says:

    First of all, I like the new look! It matches your book! (sorry, couldn’t resist the rhyme)

    Ooh, such a good reminder to tell our daughters. Hopefully they’ll listen. I think the hardest part about getting our daughters to realize the importance of this question is to get them to have a REALISTIC idea of what their lives will be like, as opposed to the Disney movies. I like how Dr. Kevin Leman has said he proposes it to young people, it’s a pretty good example of rubber-meets-the-road, I’ll paraphrase it here: “At some point in your lives, one of you is going to get sick, with the stomach flu, and not make it to the bathroom in time. Love means cleaning up the mess in the hallway. Are you willing to clean up the mess in the hallway for this person?” So, I guess this means that if I ever have a daughter, I’ll tell her to ask him: “Would you clean up my vomit for me?”

    I’m so poetic, I know. ;)

    Also, this post immediately brought to mind Lana Del Rey’s chorus from her song Young and Beautiful: “Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?”

    Great post again Lisa!

  8. 8

    I loved this post. Absolutely loved it! In my 40’s I’m realizing, there is no way I can recapture the slim thighs and slightly curved backside of yesteryear. I’m coming to terms with the fact that, while it’s fun to reminisce about the fun of youth, there is much to be said about the wisdom, perseverance, wit, and mature love found as I age with my husband. Granted, after three c-sections my stomach looks like it’s been mauled by a tiger. However, I have three living breathing human beings walking around the house and growing into their lives in a healthy way. I’m also grateful that my husband loves me and the children deeply, with feelings that are much deeper than those written in a pop song.

  9. 10

    That song. It gets me every.single.time. Luckily for me, it’s because I know that my husband (not to mention my GOD) love me just the way I am. Blessed, blessed, blessed I am that I can relate to the song from that perspective.

    • 11

      Yea, agreed. I love the song too. And I sure hope my girl finds a man who keeps singing her that same song even when they’re both 90 and have lost all their teeth :)

  10. 12

    Yes, and Yes. I am 54 and never knew I was beautiful. Now as beauty has faded and life is swiftly flying by I wonder why no one ever told me I was beautiful. I’ve told my daughters they are beautiful from top to bottom, inside and out. Precious, unique. Life’s sunshine. Now I am telling my grand-daughter. Such a wonderful post. Thanks

  11. 13

    You know, God brought me a man who sings that song to me always. Even while I was laying on that hospital blood covered in bodily fluids and paler than snow and swollen, cheeks wet with sweat and tears and melted ice, he told me I was beautiful. He tells me I’m beautiful always and the farther away I get from our wedding day and my smallest-ever weight (though I didn’t realize it then), the more he loves me and the more he finds me beautiful.

    I’m so glad that this is the example he is setting for my son. I can only pray that that love with inspire him and any subsequent children we have to find and love women the way their father loves me. It’s amazing!

  12. 14

    THIS post is what beautiful is all about Lisa-Jo! Truth.

    These are lasting truths that you keep posting… keep sharing… keep living…

    And every time you speak Truth into your princess, to yourself, and to each precious and perfect-just-the-way-they-are artwork of the King who absorbs these words — you are planting strong seeds of eternal beauty and there will be a gorgeous harvest!

    Thank you for sharing!
    Elise
    (once upon a time pro model with three daughters, the fourth arriving in about a month :) )

  13. 15

    Or, tell her she’s amazing and beautiful regardless of what a boy thinks of her. Girls and women need self confidence and love for themselves beyond satisfying the male gaze…

    • 16

      Jesz, I think that’s the sentiment of the last phrase of the post. We want our partners to love and accept us just as we are—even as we age and change—but it’s even more important for that acceptance to come from within.

  14. 17

    As sweet as that song is, I prefer the song by One Direction, which is all about attitude: “You don’t know you’re beautiful, and that’s what makes you beautiful.” Sammy Kershaw said it years ago “She [don’t] know she’s beautiful, tho time and time I’ve told her so.” Kellie Pickler asks girls, “Don’t you know you’re beautiful just the way you are”, hitting at 3 different ages of sisters. Selena Gomez asks, “Who says? Who says you’re not perfect? Who says you’re not worth it?” I have two daughters, and I grew up with a severe self-esteem problem, so songs like this jump out at me. My favorite song on the topic, from an “old married lady” aspect, is “Hot Mama” from Trace Atkins. He flat-out says, “I don’t want the girl you used to be.” My favorite line is, “You worry about your hips. You worry about your age. Meanwhile I’m trying to catch the breath you take away…and believe me, you still do.”

  15. 18

    When I asked – God sent me a man like that – a man who lived up to the hero God created him to be to the princess He created me to be. Your post made me think about my 3rd son, who when he was in the 5th grade, walked around the block where his little brothers were playing to tell their older sister who was older than him, who was going to be in the fair pageant – and gave her good-luck wishes, telling her that if he were a judge she would win. This wasn’t my smoozy son – this was joyful son – and I thought, oh, he is living up to the hero God created him to be. I only get to do the boy stories, knight-developing stories x 5 – and your story, your heart-lecture paints my world pink – which it sooooo needs every now and then! Just wanting you to know – I’m tryng to raise hero’s like that for daughters like yours!

  16. 19

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However
    I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know
    why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having identical RSS problems?
    Anybody who knows the answer can you kindly respond?
    Thanks!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] What to teach your daughter about Bruno Mars and love songs Will I have raised you brave enough to look deep into his eyes and tell him, “there’s not a thing that I would change, because I’m amazing just the way I am.” […]

  2. […] page last night, but I thought it was worth repeating. Lisa Baker wrote an awesome post…..What to Teach your Daughter about Bruno Mars and Love Songs.  Sure, lyrics like “when I see your face, there’s not a thing that I would change” […]

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