What Ethan Taught Me: Not To Judge A Book By Its Cover

Being a parent is an awesome, amazing, frustrating, joyful, never ending experience. It’s also scary because you’re just flying by the seat of your pants, learning as you go. And while we all work so hard to teach our children life lessons and how to be good people, we sometimes forget that we are learning from them, too.

While I learn something from them everyday, sometimes they teach me something that really hits home. That amazes me and teaches me a lesson that maybe I’d learned before and forgotten about. Lessons that make me a better person.

Mia and her sixteen cents taught me the importance of slowing down and appreciating the important things in life.

Lila’s lesson was all about the importance of a sincere apology.

Each of my kids has taught me many things, some lessons more important than others. This is one of those very important ones. Ethan recently reminded me to never judge a book by its cover.


Last week, the girls went to the Father/Daughter Dinner through the school. So Ethan and I decided to head out to BJ’s Restaurant, his favorite. We sat down, and after ordering, we chatted while we waited for our food.

As we waited, a young couple sat down at the table next to us, and I see Ethan looking at the girl. I turned to look at her, and I’m sure the look on my face was one the girl had seen many times. She was a pretty girl, but she had this penny-sized black mole right above her lip and off to the side a bit.

I’m not going to lie, it was ugly. She wasn’t, but the mole was. I’m sure everybody looked at that mole with the same look that I gave her, one that said “ewww.”

I am far from perfect myself, and we all have things on our bodies that we don’t like. I have a birthmark right down the center of my forehead. You can really see it when I’m really cold or angry. If you met me, you probably wouldn’t notice it, but I see it every time I look in the mirror. I’m self conscious about it, even after having it for 40+ years and trying to have it lasered off. I’m sure she feels the same way about her mole.

And yet, when I looked at her mole it made me think Thank God I don’t have that thing on my face. Because I’m shallow. And human. And wasn’t thinking.

I could hear the couple talking, and they decided not to eat but to just go to the bar for a drink instead. After they left, I told Ethan “It’s not polite to stare at people. I know that mole was ugly and it’s sad that she has it on her face, but you still shouldn’t stare. Just be glad you don’t have a mole like that on your face.” Mother of the year, right there wasn’t I?

And that’s when Ethan said “I don’t think it’s sad, I think it’s unique. It made her face look interesting.” We talked more about it, and he told me that she is probably very nice to people because so many people aren’t nice to her. He told me that having one thing on you that’s not pretty doesn’t make you ugly. He told me he thought she was pretty.

I was blown away by my son, and at the same time I felt to be about two inches tall. I leaned over and thanked him for reminding me not to judge books by their covers. I had to explain to him that was a way of saying not to judge people by what they look like. He nodded his head and said “You taught us that mom” and I thanked him again for reminding me how important it is.

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I may not be Mom of the Year every day of the year, but I must be doing something right if my kids are learning – and sharing – these lessons. Thank you Ethan, for making me a better mom.


  1. Hey, great share..... I completely agree that one of the key ingredients of successful book is ‘quality’. I really loved your post as I am also an avid reader and likes to read different varieties of books. Thanks for sharing this post. Keep sharing more.... Cheers!!