It's easy, when the beautiful is her smile and the sun reflecting off her blonde hair as she runs ahead of me. And it's easy when she dances on the living room floor, just-learned jumps still wobbly but nothing half-hearted about them.
But it's different when the beautiful is tears at dinner because her olive fell apart and demands to get out of the car while it's still moving. It's different when naps don't happen and they dare change the clocks and she doesn't want to wear diapers but refuses to use the potty.
We think of beauty as the round and the smooth, with graceful edges balanced by straight lines. But beauty can be pointy, too, and sharp, and hard as a rock. Some say that isn't beauty, but when it's a little heart trying to figure out what it means to be human, what else can it be?
And so I try to love her like she's beautiful, even the hard parts. I wrap my arms around all of her, even the points and the prickles, and I hold her close to me even when she's sharp. How else will she learn of love, that it has more to do with the lover than the condition of the beloved? Because to be human is to be loved, and that's what I'd have her know more than anything else.