I told my 4-year-old son that I was going to get my hair cut and he started crying. “I don’t want you to get your hair cut. I like you the way you are!”
It’s a reminder to me to try to feel as beautiful as I am in my children’s eyes.
I always thought my mother was beautiful. I still do. She had a chip in her front tooth, so in most of her pictures, she has a Mona Lisa-like smile. If by chance she did laugh out loud, she self-consciously put her hand in front of her face. She had a habit (that I picked up and have been unable to break) of absentmindedly picking at her fingers. The times when I found her most beautiful were when she was sitting in her rocking armchair, lost in thought. Her beauty was so laden with sadness that it was unbearable to me. I was threatened by her distance so I would often interrupt her and beg for her to let me lay on her lap so that she could rub my hair. When I found out where babies came from and learned the word womb, I would tell her, “I want to lay in your womb.”
I can’t control what my kids will remember or what they’ll find beautiful about me. I hope that it’ll be my unabashed giggling at fart jokes or my pretty new hair cut. I hope that they’ll see me as vibrant and enthusiastic. Maybe they’ll laugh at the way touching commercials can make me cry.
They’ve seen me sad, quiet and distracted too. They probably sensed when I sunk a little too deep. That’s ok because I want to be a role model for how to face life’s challenges. I won’t hide from pain or joy. It’s important to me that when I see myself through their eyes, that I love and accept what I see.