Confessions of an Ugly Snowman

“Daddy, can we go build a snowman?”

It’s been a relatively snowless winter so far here in southern New England. Finally, the snow gods paid us a visit, leaving several inches of the white stuff behind. Suddenly, it was Snowman Season, and my 3-1/2 year old daughter, boots in hand, was smiling from ear to ear.

There’s something very rewarding about building a snowman with a young child. I’m grateful that I can appreciate the gift that it is. Perhaps it allows me to revisit the simplicity of my youth, when the only worry was finding the just-right branch that would become the snowman’s arm. Or perhaps it is my chance to do something with my daughter that my always-working Dad never did with me when I was a kid.

Or maybe it’s just a whole lot of fun playing in the snow, building a snowman and building priceless memories.

As far as snowmen go, I would have to say this one wasn’t very pretty. The snow was quite wet, and as we rolled the snow up into the big ball which formed the base we picked up some pine needles and decayed leaves that were resting on the lawn under the snow. “Now that’s one ugly snowman!” I declared. But in the eyes of a child, can there be such a thing as an ugly snowman? Despite my labeling the snowman as ugly, all she saw was a snowman. No negatively judgmental adjectives needed. “No, Daddy, it’s just a snowman”, she said so innocently with a slight giggle in her voice. 

Once again I benefit from the wisdom of a child who only sees the perfection in the world around her. The snowman was perfect…just the way it was.

As with most of the lessons our kids teach us, they have no idea they’re teaching us anything at all. The lessons they teach us are usually more about the purity of their perceptions, which sharply contrast the weathered and often judgmental views found in the adult mind. Somehow their words act like Windex and allow us to once again see the intrinsic beauty in so-called ugly things.

Beyond the snowman, this applies to our own perceptions of who it is we think we are. What adjectives do we use to describe ourselves when we look into the mirror? Do we only see what is flawed, wrinkled, or scarred? Do we look right past our beauty? Do we fail to see our own perfection?

The world is a much softer place when we rediscover the beauty in all that surrounds us and in all that is within us. With eyes of awe and wonder the adjectives change. You’ll see that even the “ordinary” is actually quite extraordinary, the “insignificant” anything but.

Especially when you look at yourself.

It’s a great day to be you!

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