Friday, May 28, 2010

the realization


last night as i tucked meg in, she began to cry. she pulled me down close to her, and into my ear she whispered, "i just looked in the mirror, and i felt like i saw myself again. i feel pretty." she has been wholeheartedly disfigured by these chicken pox, it was a huge relief to her to recognize herself under the clearing scabs.

...i felt like i saw myself again...

meg has been horrified at the thought of going out into public. "i'm so ugly!" i asked her if she thought all her friends loved her just because she was cute, and there was a slow and despondent head shake. but even though she may be able to acknowledge that, clearly there is a strong belief in her mind that she is what she looks like.

...i felt like i saw myself again...

i would love to blame this on our culture. the glossy ads in magazines, the stars on the red carpet, the tv ads for shinier hair, better skin & thinner thighs... and they are definitely a huge part of it. but i would be wrong to say i didn't play a roll. i am the one who brings those glossy magazines home. i have been known to trudge through the house announcing i was too ugly to go out into the world. against all my best efforts, i have had a significant hand in teaching my daughter that she is what she looks like.

...i felt like i saw myself again...

before i can teach my girls how to see themselves - and their beauty - in their laughter, their compassion, their gifts & talents, their joy of life & their kindness, i am going to have to learn to see my own beauty in those things. because they will learn what i do and live faster than what what i say. i want them to be able to look at the lives of love and compassion and friendship and generosity they will live and then say, "i feel like i saw myself again."

2 comments:

Sarah_J_Evans said...

Gosh - what a moment! Bless her for having to put up with the dreaded pox for so long.

I think you have touched a nerve here with many readers. We have all done just what you say probably lots of times in the past. We will probably do/say these things again.

I think it is very important for people to love themselves and value themselves for exactly who they are - not just because they look a certain way.

Being a parent is such a responsibility - don't beat yourself up over it. Everyone makes mistakes here and there.

Take care,

Sarah

http://thesecretistobelieve.blogspot.com/

Just me said...

Awww, poor baby! We as mothers have a tough battle ahead of us and society and tv and music videos and all the magazines are formidable opponents. My 11 y/o is dieting! Hang in there...