If you are not the mother of a Sesame-Street-watching toddler, you may be unfamiliar with Abby Cadabby, but that is who Annike played the part of this Halloween.
Abby is one of Elmo's newer friends who was probably added to create a stronger female monster presence for the preschoolers to look up to (did you ever notice they were all male when we were growing up?) She is actually a pink and purple fairy who does magic, and I am still trying to figure out what educational value she adds to Sesame Street. None-the-less, Annike is quite a fan, and her costume was relatively easy to put together.
While Annike is very attached to her tutus, for some reason she was resistant to putting on her Abby Cadabby costume until the very last minute, when I resorted to bribery (something I DO try to avoid with her.) This may tell you how girly she is, but the bribe was that if she put her costume on, then I would put make-up on her. She held so still for the mascara, and the lip stick, and the eye shadow, and the glitter. And when we were all done, she looked in the mirror and declared "I'm BEAOOOTIFUL!"
This is a word I have never heard her use before, and it came out with such oomf! "BEAUUUUTIFUL!" Of course it made me laugh and agree with her. But afterwards I contemplated where she picked up the idea that we are only beautiful when we put make up on. She sees me do it every day, but I make a big effort to tell her that it helps me look "awake" instead of using the word "pretty". I mean, there is no way I would go out without mascara on because no one would recognize me... but there I go again, unintentionally sending the message that it is the external applications that make us beautiful.
It is going to be a battle over the next 20 years fighting the impression our culture's image of beauty as seen in magazines, television, and even the Disney princesses will make on Annike. But the truth is that the messages she gets begin and end with me, at least for a little while they do. I have potential to be the best example of the difference between internal beauty and external beauty that she has. That means I have to wrap my own head around the way that God created ME to be beautiful first. Not with name brand jeans and just the right shade of lipstick. My true beauty stems from understanding all of the ways that God created me unique, and using those uniquities to glorify Him. I have to somehow show her that we are most beautiful when we are displaying fruit in our lives, showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control to those around us. Yep, I have a lot of work to do! Maybe with Annike's help, we can embrace God's form of beauty in our lives together!
"What matters is not your outer appearance — the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes — but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way..." 1 Peter 3:3-4 (The Message)
We had a kid's Halloween party to attend, and we gave trick-or-treating a go for the first time. We only visited about 8 different homes, but from the look of the picture below, clearly that was plenty.