Recently, my husband, who never seems to have self-doubt, fell victim to a clueless child, our daughter. He’s as confident as Ben Affleck was that he deserved the Oscar. He deserved it. He was robbed. I digress.
My husband never cares about how he looks or what others think of him. He was taught to believe in himself or maybe no one ever condescended and told him he wasn’t worthy of anything. He never focuses on the superficial, either. He doesn’t look in the mirror and worry that his wrinkles look deeper than last year. He doesn’t look at himself and worry whether his hairline is disappearing. He’s happy with who he is and embraces aging and his appearance. Very sexy.
Well, at least I had never seen him do so, in the ten years we’ve been together. At least, until a week ago. He was getting our daughter ready for school. Sometimes, he lets me sleep in. This was one of those days.
I was sound asleep and the door opened abruptly. He was trying to find a shirt that was on the drying rack. Usually, if he’s letting me sleep in, he opens the door slowly so he doesn’t wake me. This day it was different. It was more abrupt. He was lost in thought and wasn’t worried about my slumber. I knew something was wrong.
“What’s wrong? What happened?” I asked.
“Nothing. Go back to sleep. Everything is fine,” he replied.
I knew everything wasn’t fine. “I know something is wrong. What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Babyface told me that she thinks I’m ugly. It just hurt my feelings. Oh well,” he replied.
He said it like he was trying to brush it off. It was an emotion in passing, but one I could tell had hit his heart hard. It hit his heart as hard, as if someone told me I look my age.
“Are you sure she meant it? What did she say?” I asked.
“Nothing. It’s fine,” he replied.
I called Babyface into the room to figure out why she had said it, but she kept repeating the same sentiment. My heart broke for him. No one wants their 4-year-old, full of innocence, but often full of brutal honesty, to say something so harsh. Besides, I knew it didn’t make sense, because he is so handsome.
Later, he walked into the room, relieved, and said, “It’s okay. She said it because she thinks the buttons on my shirt are ugly, so she said I look ugly.” Apparently, our daughter has an aversion to ugly buttons.
I realized, our kids mean well, but don’t understand the consequences of their words. Babyface needs to understand that, ultimately, you don’t say anything to anyone else that you don’t want to hear yourself.