I wrote this a few years ago and wanted to share it with you:
Before I tell you my story, let me assure you that I am NOT proud of myself, that I am quite ashamed of what I thought. Read on, and you'll see why.
Yesterday, I'd gone to the clinic to receive my H1N1 vaccine and it was overrun with young families, babies, toddlers and other small humans. A happy thing for me. Since Lilly arrived in my life, other peoples babies have fascinated me. And so it came to pass that I was seated in the waiting room next to a young mother and her 10 month old baby girl, Anna. Her baby was dressed with exquisite care, in tiny violet overalls, a white frilly blouse, and little sneakers. Her hair was clean and brushed and a little blue ribbon in her hair matched her eye color. She sat, curled in momma's lap and an obvious and intense bond existed between the two.
And I thought "Oh how sad, the poor little thing is so homely." Anna had a careful, reserved expression on her face, and she seemed almost fearful when I softly said to her, "Hello sweetie, how are you?" For some reason it became a challenge to me to see if I could get her to smile. As I spoke to her and smiled at her, the reserve, the distance in her demeanor faded slowly. And as she warmed to me, I began to see what her mother must have seen in her...that this was a beautiful, gentle child of God, and I was stunned. I said to the baby "Oh you are a beatiful child, your hair is so pretty and your momma loves you so much."
And then it happened. She smiled, a radiant, transcendent smile that changed everything in a moment. A smile as glorious and startling as Susan Boyle's voice. She held out her arms to me, and unthinking I reached out and picked her up. She snuggled into my neck, all warmth and baby powder smells, and I was horrified at what I had thought when I first saw her. I looked up and her mother was in tears. She said softly, "I think you're the only person besides me who has ever spoken kindly to Anna."
It broke my heart.