Melody heard the sound of the front door opening and three pairs of feet marching into the house. The door closed with a bang. She was in the kitchen cleaning.
“Stop letting the door slam,” she yelled. It got under her skin so much.
As she was scrubbing the counters, she thought she heard faint sniffing behind her. When she turned around to see if she was hearing things, she saw this sad little face.
Of course, she didn’t actually think it was one of her boys crying, but she was still surprised to see her daughter standing there with that pitiful look on her face. She gasped and dried her hands on the nearest towel. Then, she bent down to comfort her child. “What’s the matter, baby?”
“The kids at school,” she said between sniffles, “they call me names.”
“What kids? What names?” Melody was preparing to fight.
“They called me fatty.”
That was like a shot to the heart. Part of her wanted to crack some skulls while the other wanted to scoop her daughter into her arms and never let her go. “Oh, Harmony. I’m so sorry. You’re not fat… You’re beautiful!”
“They said I have big lips.”
Melody snorted. “They made fun of your lips??” She calmed herself before continuing. Her heated reaction did not help to make her poor child feel better. “But, you have my lips. And they’re so very kissable…”
Harmony didn’t seem to appreciate the humor. She was too young to understand the joys of kissing anyway.
Melody sighed. “Look, Harmony. Don’t believe anything those kids tell you. They’re just jealous. They really think you’re pretty and wish they had lips half as sexy as yours.”
Harmony giggled even though she didn’t know what sexy meant.
“Everything about you comes from me and daddy. Did you know that?”
She shook her head.
“My hair is really long just like yours, but I keep it cut. You have your daddy’s face and eyes and nose and skin tone…and my gorgeous lips, of course. Do you think I’m pretty?”
“Do you daddy is nice looking?”
She smiled and nodded.
“Ok. If we’re good looking, that means you’re good looking too! Don’t be ashamed of who you are. I know it’s hard sometimes, and kids can be very mean. And…” her mind began to shift toward herself, “sometimes we can be mean to ourselves… But, never forget what you know is true deep down inside.” She was glad to see her daughter smile. “Come here, you cute little rascal.” She bent down and grabbed the child and held her.
After a brief moment, Harmony said, “I want my daddy.”
Melody sighed. She wasn’t terribly good at that sort of thing especially when she struggled with it herself, but she did the best she could. “I want your daddy too.” So much.