There's been a ton of "body image" posts coming through on my various feeds, communities, and just from my friends lately. Most (but not all) have been related to "Mom" bodies. The person who was miserable about her body 6 months post-birth. The person who idolized her mother until (at age 7) her mother loudly insisted that she was fat and ugly, and then the girl who always wanted to grow up to be her mother became scared she would do just that.

It goes on and on.

So I want to relate a wonderful experience I had the other day...

Now, I've got a decent sprinkling of moles on my body. Most are no more than slightly raised freckles, and those I've had since sometime in childhood. They are in fact, what would have been termed a "beauty mark" in an earlier era. I don't really think of them that way - I don't really think about them much at all. They are just a longstanding part of my appearance.

I've got one on my neck that appeared in my late 20s. It's the same size as the others, but it sticks out more. (Don't worry, I had it looked at by a doctor when it showed up and grew so fast - no one is concerned.)

Apparently it is enticing to small children. They want to pull on it. Last week, my 3-yr-old tried to pull it off my neck! (Ouch, btw.)

Maybe the rough treatment made it stand out more, but for whatever reason, the next day her little friend J (who is 2) noticed it and also started playing with it.

I explained that it was a mole, and then he noticed that I have one on my face. I let him touch my face for a few seconds, and then shifted him to one on my arm. (I didn't want him to go poking around my face, because that can end painfully!)

And then, it happened. A wonderful, unexpected moment.

J was rubbing my arm up and down. He was struggling to put words to a thought. "So much. So much..."

And I'm wondering "so much *what*?" I was expecting him to say hair, or freckles or something.

"So much... pretty."

And I was so surprised and choked up with emotion at hearing that. I don't know what about my arm was so pretty to him, but it is one of the most sincere and lovely compliments I've ever received.

My daughter has also given me lovely compliments at unexpected times. It is so wonderful to know that whatever I might think about myself on any given day, that I am beautiful in the minds of the children I most cherish - just by being me.


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