“If you can’t say anything nice”…
We’ve all heard it.
When I was little, I remember getting told that occasionally. Now, as a mom, I have found myself saying the same thing to my own kids. It’s usually when they’re in a heated argument over who gets to sit in the middle seat or a great debate over who ate the last piece of licorice. Usually, I am able to end the arguments pretty swiftly by confessing that, “IT WAS ME! I ate the last piece, and it was GOOD!”
Yes, my kids fight. And yes, sometimes, when they do…they don’t say very nice things.
We’re all guilty. Things have been said that we wish we could take back. Words spew out of our mouths that should have gone through some type of filter first. But once the words have been spoken, they’re out.
Emaleigh came home from school yesterday and explained to me that a friend of hers told her, “So and so doesn’t like your haircut because it makes you look fat.”
As she told me this, her eyes began to well up with tears. I thought to myself, what compels people to say such things; such mean and hurtful things. Things that now, every time Emaleigh looks in the mirror, is going to question.
The worst part of this: So and So… is an adult. A grown woman who is sharing her thoughts on my daughters haircut to others. Sharing it in a manner, or around people, that she figured it would never get back to my little girl…yet, it did. And those words can never be undone.
I have heard adults talk about other adults. Kids talk about other kids. But, I cannot figure out for the life of me, why something like this is being said from an adult about a child. My child. This might sound petty to some, and maybe it is, but I just don’t understand. So what if she didn’t like Emaleigh’s haircut? So. What.
So now, I find myself wanting to tell a grown adult, “If you can’t say anything nice”…
My heart breaks for my little girl who is just coming into her own. Who has just recently taken an interest into doing her own, beautiful hair. She has always been so independent…wanting to do everything on her own. But, it hasn’t been until just recently that she has taken an interest in her hair. So, I let her do it herself . No, her ponytails aren’t always straight, or one side of her hair might be a little “fluffy”, but it’s how she likes to do it. And, she looks beautiful. She looked beautiful with long hair, and she looks just as beautiful with short.
It’s about this age that young girls begin to take notice of their appearance a little bit more. I know for Emaleigh, she has been a little bit more conscience of what she looks like before she takes off to school, or even before we go to Wal-Mart. Yes, Wal-Mart.
I’m so proud of the young woman that she is becoming…and I’m so proud of how she handled herself, even though I’m sure her heart broke just a little bit when she heard those words.
As I sit and write this, tears stream down my face for her. My little girl, who is not fat. My little girl, who cut 12 inches of her hair off to donate to other little girls who have had cancer and have lost their own. My little girl, that did that not because she was asked to, but because she wanted to. My little girl, who is not perfect, and doesn’t try to be. My little girl, who had a little piece of her taken away because of those words.
Tears stream down my face for every little girl who has even been told, “you look fat”. Although the comments might be seemingly harmless, they can leave a lasting remark that can never be undone.
I ask you…no, I beg you to think before you speak.
Again, I know we are all guilty of saying things or doing things that we regret. Sometimes even saying things that we don’t even realize has hurt the other person. Yet, it does…more times than we know. And now, as a result of a careless mouth of an adult, I am trying to pick up the pieces of my little girls heart.
Think before you speak.
Especially if it’s concerning a child. Think before you say it. Just think.
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”
Proverbs 18:21 NLT