I am so incredibly important. I can’t go to the restroom without eyes on me. I walk down the street with paparazzi, little people trying to get my attention, gain my favor and who simply adore me. I have immense power and even more responsibility.
If I teach my children anything, it is that they are beautiful, capable wondrous beings. Ok. Maybe not unique snowflakes, but still incredible all the same. And with this lesson comes the realization that they will indeed inherit my vices. They will learn to question their intelligence, dislike their bodies and forever search for the “perfect”…something.
What do you do when you were never traditionally beautiful? When you were never the best at anything in particular? What do you strive for when all you ever wanted was to fit in, to be normal? How do you teach your children that being like everyone else should not be their aspiration, when you know deep down, you have always craved to be a part of something? They are their mother’s children, after all.
When I was young, I wanted to be the female James Bond, the first XX 007. My father said, “you cannot be a spy. You are in no way inconspicuous.” I thought that was the worst thing in the world! Why am I so different, I wailed? I was the little girl who played with the boys, liked science, math, comic books and wrestling. I was the one who did not develop an interest in the opposite sex for so long, my friends started to question my sanity. I had dreams that came true, magically knew lottery numbers for my grandmother and could feel someone’s emotions. I was the one who heard it once and aced the test, the one who wrecked the bell curve for my classmates and the girl who played in all male softball league. My mom was a girlie girl, my grandmother, aunts; but I just couldn’t seem to get it down. I was taller than everyone else, wore a training bra in second grade and knew I would have an office with my name on the door by the time I turned 8. And every step of the way, the world kept telling me I wasn’t even close to their version of normal. SO, of course, that was my greatest desire!
My child is also not “normal.” He is a quirky, intelligent, silly, independent, alarmingly considerate, comic book loving gentle giant. He will not develop my fears! He sees me as a rock star! I am the most intense version of perfection he knows. My body consists of hugging arms, strong legs, soothing tones and love. He says I am the most brilliant person he knows and he wants to be like me when he grows up. How can I, in good conscience, still hold onto these destructive views of myself? The world cannot validate me, but I have one who sure can sway me towards the truth. Normal is overrated anyway. Why spend my time trying to hide the brilliance inside? My dad knew what he was talking about. I am in no way inconspicuous. Why would I even want to fit in, when I was born to stand out?
So, when my son begins to question himself, saying he tries not to appear too smart in class. I see myself in him and realize I must become a better example. When he says he doesn’t look like he wishes he could, I know I have work to do. After all, I am the most powerful influence in his life and have an incredible responsibility. I accept the challenge of loving myself enough to let him see how much he shines!
I don’t always question myself, but when I do my response answers THE question.
Stay divalicious, my friends.