Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Beautiful People

My mom, Susan, is one of the beautiful people.  No, I don't mean those fake, over-tanned, over-dressed, ultra-rich beautiful people.  I mean, one of those real beautiful people:  the people who look lovely outside and have exquisite beauty within. 

If you looked at my mom, you would just want to squeeze her.  In fact, her second grade students often do!  She is the perfect picture of someone's favorite grandma.  Her pretty brown hair is streaked with silver and her brown eyes shine when she laughs.  Mom looks wonderful on the outside, but I think she must be a supermodel on the inside.  Let me tell you a few "beauty tips" I've learned from mom.  These beauty tips are far better than the fanciest skin care regimen you could find. They will never go out of style and will work for any age. 

Tip One: Listen To Others
I love to talk (I know that's a shocker!).  I'm a really good listener for around 5 minutes if you're talking about something interesting.  Not mom.  I've seen her spend over an hour listening to people tell, what I think, are mind-numbing stories.  Mom will nod, ask questions, and even give a hug to the other person if they need it.  She always does her best to truly listen and offer help or a word of encouragement.  Real beauty is taking the time to listen to others instead of always having to be heard.

Tip Two:  Care For Your Family
My mom taught school all the time I was growing up.  Even though she was tired, she came home every night and cooked supper, helped me with my homework, did her own school work, and often found time to play a game or two with me.  Going out to eat was a major treat for our family, not a lifestyle.  As a child, I didn't realize how much stability and contentment this gave my life.  As an adult, I strive to follow her explain with my own family.

Tip Three:  Work Hard
As I mentioned earlier, my mom has always been a school teacher.  She is one of those amazing teachers that change children's lives because she truly cares about them and tries her very best to help each and every one of them learn.  Teaching like this requires a lot of extra work.  I've seen Mom spend weekends, summers, and late nights preparing lessons and activities for her students.  When Mom does get a free minute away from school work, her time is usually spent doing something for her family.

Tip Four:  Give To Others
You should see the things my mom can sew!  I'm not talking about a weekend crafter, I'm talking about someone who could have been a professional seamstress.  With such sewing skills, you would think that Mom would have a huge custom made wardrobe.  She doesn't.  Mom spends almost all of her time making clothes for her family, hats for the homeless, or blankets for newborn babies.  Growing up, mom made almost all of my clothing.  Now, my little girl is enjoying wearing clothes made by her.  What a treat!

Tip Five:  Be Modest
In actions and dress, my Mom is modest.  Even though Mom amazes me, she just waves her hand, and says, "I really don't do anything special.".  Incredibly, she really means this!

So you can see, my mom really is one of the beautiful people.  She's never won an award or received recognition for all she does.  She's never been on a fancy vacation or lived in a mansion.  Mom's never been rich and she's never had a fancy car.   Fake tans, designer clothes, and dyed hair have never been a part of Mom's life.  To me, that only adds to her beauty. 

If you look around in your life, I bet you can find some beautiful people to.  They're the ones that are always on the sidelines, helping the person in the spotlight to shine.  They're the ones that you go to when you need an ear to listen and good solid advice.  They're the ones that make your day a little brighter and bring a smile to your face.  They are the beautiful people - inside and out. 

Take a moment to seriously consider the beautiful people in your life.  If you haven't already, talk to them and tell them how much you appreciate them.  Tell them that you think they are beautiful! 

Mom, teaching school at age 20. 
The writing behind her head is on a blackboard.

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