Thoughts on Health… Loving my Daughter, Loving Myself

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These preteen years are uncharted waters for me as a parent.

I find that they bring up lots of intense emotions for me, and I wonder why.  I am finding that loving my daughter, truly loving her, even in her angry pre-teen moments when she thinks she isn’t lovable, brings me a deep satisfaction and often moves me to tears.

Don’t get me wrong… when I speak of my daughter being emotional I’m talking about a 15 minute spell of her feeling irritable and stand-offish… understandable when I take a look at her pre-teen body and all the changes that are swirling to the surface.   Long, colt-like legs, girlish figure entangled with the baby one that I used to know so well… teeny tiny little pimple coming up on her perfect nose… evidence of changing hormones and changing times.

All result in Clara, on occasion, having a need for space that she didn’t have before.  It’s not so much that she is pushing me away, as she is tending to her own needs, even though she doesn’t know what they are yet.  She stands confused for a moment… and wants me to go away.  And I am proud of her for verbalizing this.  I love that she trusts me enough to hold her space.

I’m learning how to read her, to know when she is feeling like a child and when she is feeling like a pre-teen, even if that swings back and forth like a pendulum multiple times a day.  I wonder why this normal phase, which I am so very in awe of when I watch my daughter, feels so damn intense to my own heart?

When she aired her frustrations as a child, I found it so easy to stay centered… to be an unmovable oak tree, sheltering her through any season.  When she airs her frustrations now, I find myself feeling like a lonely sad leaf… wildly fluttering through gusts of wind in a storm, and I wonder why the heck I have lost my footing so easily.

But I think I’m on to something here.  I think it’s quite possible that the time that we find our children the most challenging is probably the time in our own lives when we stopped loving ourselves wholly.  For each parent, this is going to be different.  Maybe this is why some times, some parents seem to have a harder time with the toddler phase.  Maybe as a toddler, they were told no a lot, or spanked.  With some it might be when the child first goes to school… maybe this was a particularly rough transition for the parent when they were a child.

For me, the babyhood and the toddlerhood and the early school years have all been so effortless to love them through… it’s this first peek at my daughter’s scoffing at me, distaste of me, emotional complexity that has me reeling.  And for the first time, wondering what I should do.  She looks at me, and for just one moment in time, I can see that she finds me lacking… and it just brings up what I felt for myself at nine.

I remember back to being a child, turning 9… this puts me in 3rd grade… right when my mother had my little brother.  Whoa… that was  a really rough time.

I never felt uglier… hated my crooked tooth and frizzy hair, and I remember being a nervous wreck… I developed a nervous tic  of biting on my lip when my mom entered the end of her pregnancy and went to the hospital to have a c-section… I rember visiting her in the hospital and just feeling so separate… coming home felt so empty.  I started whistling a nervous little whistle that I couldn’t even hear… my dad or my older brother would ask me to stop… I wouldn’t even know what they were talking about, until I realized that I had been whistling instead of watching the TV program they were watching.

I think even though 9 can seem so grown up, we need our parents more then ever.   My parent’s arms were full with a new, lovable little baby, who I loved very much too.  I think I loved the new baby more then I liked myself actually, at that point.

But what would I say to myself, if I could go back now?  I would demand to myself that I was so very lovable too, right then, twisting my lower lip into a nervous knot and biting on it.  Staying up all night unable to sleep.  Whistling an invisible song.  Ugly frizzy dirty blond hair and crooked teeth and blue circles under my eyes.

I was lovable and now I do have the chance to believe it in myself, because I look at my own daughter… who I can’t find a single thing wrong with… and  can say it so easily to her.  I LOVE YOU CLARA!  Even when you feel confused!  Even when you don’t know what you want!  Even when you get your first tiny pimple on your absolutely precious little nose.  Oh my God it makes me love you more!!!!!  Even when what you really want is for me to go away and you push me away through your actions or your words.

Loving someone, even when I can think of reasons I’ve been wronged, but loving anyway… that is the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life.

Choosing to love, and focus on love, even when my first impulse is to push back… this is changing my life.

Both my children… growing up so fast, right before my eyes.

Choosing love over strife is very scary.  It seems common sense, who wouldn’t rather have peace then a fight?  Should be an easy choice…  But in the moment, when my daughter pushes me away, the wind feels literally knocked out of me and I feel desperate to re-connect… to *correct* her… to make her love me again… to demand her to show some respect… in those moments, choosing to remain quiet and let her walk away is so very very scary.  It *feels* like a huge, frightening, letting go of control… where I’m not the mother at all any more, but instead the one who is tumbling down a well, head over heels, and trying to stay in the moment.


“Who is this person who has come to you?

Not to be shaped

Not to be bent

Not to be formed

Not to be changed,

But to be loved.

Can you recognize

That everything you mistrust and fear in your child

Is a part of yourself that longs to be loved?”

-(who said this quote… does anyone know?)

In those very moments, I can see that I did the right thing.  My daughter knows I still love her, in my quiet, oak tree kind of way.  Inside, I might feel like a leaf in the wind, but my *presence* and my trust in her held the grounding of an oak tree for Clara.  And  can see in her eyes that my daughter still does love herself.  And then she smiles at me.  And she isn’t lost… Oh my goodness I have never never been so grounded and calm and healed in my entire life.

Never.

Loving when society would tell me to send her to her room.  How dare she talk back to me, right?  Screw that.  I don’t care how she talks to me.  I care how she feels.  I *want* her to be able to tell me how she is feeling, the happy and the ugly and the dark and the light sides, the lovable and the unlovable, as if there really was such a thing…

Loving when a whisper in my ear says she has crossed the line, this is my greatest moment.

Loving when I can see that she feels unlovable takes an unbelievable amount of my courage.  But it has never failed.  Dammit, I do love her.  I love her all the more. Loving my Clara is easy.  Loving myself is hard.   This is deep and meaningful soul work that I am doing… it feels right.

I have to walk a fine line between what I want to do (run over and scoop my baby up in my arms and kiss her and hug her and smell her) and what she is testing me to do (trust her and leave her alone.)  And I find a new balance, when I find new ways to reach out to her that are still within her comfort zone.  I find instead of a full fledged hug, sometimes Clara will accept a foot rub.  Or spending time together means going out and hunting through a thrift shop and driving through for ice cream instead of her sitting on my lap ever again.

(Okay, sometimes I just gotta sneak that kiss in any way…)

My goal is for her to believe and know, no matter what phases she grows through, that she it totally, utterly, completely, irreversibly LOVABLE.  And to surround her with that knowledge.

And while I’m learning how to do this, it feels like the person I’m helping most here is me.

Is anybody else going through this with their pre-teen?  How are you holding up?  I’d love to know!  Any good tips?  xoxo

Chocolate Chip cookie recipe… My Favorite Thing… in my Stomach?!?!

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My two menfolk love cookies, especially chocolate chip.  But my daughter… not so much.  In fact, she won’t eat cookies in general.  I thought all kids were supposed to love cookies… but guess she got some of this from me… I typically don’t like cake and ice cream.   Even as a kid.


So it became my mission to find a cookie that I could bake and have my *whole family* enjoy… my daughter included.  Finally, after months of excruciating testing (not that my son or husband were complaining) I found a cookie that my daughter loves too!  But in these pictures, her brother beat her to the plate…

It is basically a sugar cookie with chocolate chips and M&M’s mixed in.    I know, I don’t exactly know how this makes it different then a regular chocolate chip cookie.  It probably isn’t.  But once I stopped finding and making recipes for chocolate chip cookies, and instead started finding and making sugar cookie recipes and adding chocolate chips into it… they started to taste different.  And we all love them.

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Our Family’s Favorite Cookie… otherwise known as: Clara’s Only Cookie

(use organic ingredients whenever possible!)

1 1/2 C all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Stir together flour, baking soda and baking powder.

Melt 1 stick of butter (1/2 C) on the stovetop.

Mix in 3/4 C of sugar, stir to cool the butter.

Once cooled, add 1 egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to the butter/sugar mixture.  Blend well.

Gradually blend the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Add tons of chocolate chips and several handfuls of M&M’s!  Yum!  Eat a few more handfuls yourself… you deserve it, after all, you are the cook.

I usually use my hands and form balls of dough, making sure to get several M&M’s into each cookie, but you could just scoop out heaping spoonfuls… bake these for 8 minutes, until the edges begin to golden.  I like my cookies chewy, so I leave them a tad undercooked in the middle.

Let cool, and devour.  Makes about 18 cookies.  Perfect for one serving.  🙂

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Tip: Usually, when I’m mixing up the flour part, I make 4 times as much as the recipe calls for.

So I mix 6 cups of flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, and 1 tsp. baking powder into a large bowl.

Then I put 1 1/2 cups of the mixture into three different jars, and use the last 1 1/2 cups to make cookies right now.

That way I have 3 more batches of cookies waiting in my pantry, ready to go, for the next time I want… err… my kids want cookies.

All I have to do when the mood strikes is melt a stick of butter, add the sugar, egg, vanilla… dump in the flour mix, all right in the same pot on the stove top… and throw them in the oven.

I know, you are rolling your eyes at me…. how the heck is that any easier then just making them all from scratch.  But folks, you know the power of feeling like you have a *mix* ready to go… come on.  This is why pre-mixed boxes of muffins and cakes and brownies are a multi million dollar industry.  Those aren’t hard to mix up either, let’s face it.  But there is something about thinking that the cookies are already started that makes it easier to just finish them off and pop them in the oven.  Try it.  I garuntee that if you make 4 jars of cookie mix, you will make cookes about 4 times more often then you normally do.  Which I realize might not be a good thing.  BUT!  IF you sneak healthy things into the flour, like ground flax seeds and whey powder, which I often do… then you can certainly justify this!

This also means I can add anything I want into the cookies to change it up.

I recently added some oatmeal and some dark chocolate covered raisins instead of chocolate chips and M&M’s, and had a sort of oatmeal raisin meets sugar cookie hybrid with dark chocolate in it.  It was luscious.

Sure, my daughter wouldn’t eat it… but hey, you win some you lose some.  xoxo

Poem of My Life

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This is a poem about my life. It is very raw and real and the truest thing I know, for me.

It is the story of my existence.

I feel like I’ve had two lives… I’ve been two people… the person I was before my family, and the person I have become, almost instantly, after becoming a mother.

The person I was before… I don’t love to think about her. I was creative and full of energy, but also full of nerves and never ever comfortable in my own skin. Often critical of others and preferring to compete with life instead of join into it. Above all, I had an inescapable fear of death.

The woman I am now… I don’t even recognize the girl I used to be. I feel so full of joy and love. Full of a compassion that I never had before. And calm. A deep calm. A *knowing* that there is more to life then this moment, and that all is well.

I wrote this poem about how I finally discovered my deeper truth.

Please be kind to me when you read it.

Nothing I’ve ever written has been more honest, and leaves me more exposed.  I can’t read this poem without crying.

I’m not a poet, but this is the song my soul sings. I guess this poem *is* my Heartsong.

I’ve felt a calling to share it with you here. xoxo


In Retrospect


In retrospect
I discover
That I do believe in heaven and souls and foreverness.

It is such a relief
I can’t even sleep at night
This huge grin on my face keeps me up until the indigo glow before dawn.

Because I had spent the first twenty-something years

a worried, nervous wreck, straining to believe
trying religion after religion on
wanting to believe in something more then the absoluteness of death.

Religion always felt like a complicated coping mechanism that people clung to
and I just couldn’t cling
no matter how I wanted to
free falling into a vast nothingness
after life
that scared the shit out of me.

It turns out
that the uneasy searching was actually just a painful waiting,
and that burning to find something more
was actually just tormented, desperate wanting,
and that despair over needing an answer
was actually just a fiercely missing
my loves
my soul mates
my family.

It was such a deliverance to see them again.

When I met my husband, I breathed my first real breath.
And when my daughter arrived
I was light-headed with sheer joy.
And when my son arrived
I was knocked to my knees by the overwhelming thankfulness of it all.
The kind of air-knocked-out-of-you
tears-in-your-eyes
type of triumph
you can only come to
at the end of a very long and terrifying fall
as your feet hit solid ground again.

Here were the souls I had waited all my life for.
Here were the souls I knew.
Here was what was missing.
Here was my religion.

Of course I had such a deep heartache.
Of course I had been searching my whole life.
Of course I was near crazy with longing.
I need these three more then I need to be alive.
My soul needs these souls or I don’t exist at all.

And now they are here again.
This proof,
unexpected,
that I do believe in reincarnation and past lives and foreverness…

in retrospect.


Thoughts on Health… Fibromyalgia

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When you follow your bliss, doors open where you would not have thought

there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door

for anyone else.   – Joseph Campbell

This one is personal.

I carry all of my tension in my neck and shoulders.  Painful trigger points, tension headaches, tenderness in my upper back and neck so strong that at times I can’t even wear a bathing suit or a sports bra or a ponytail, or anything pulling on my neck at all… sometimes, even a necklace is too much, has me on my knees begging for mercy.

I think I could fit the definition for fibromyalgia, but I’m not double checking.  Because one thing I don’t want, is a label.  I don’t want to lump my energy in with the morphic field of “fibromyalgia”… I prefer just to think of it as where I carry my tension.  As my own personal barometer of stress.  An alarm that signals when I need to slow-it-dowwwwnnnnn.

I really feel that people with fibromyalgia, as with many other diseases, including peripheral neuropathies and restless leg syndrome and RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy), are able to feel sensory input more acutely.  That’s why nerve stabilizing drugs help, by desensitizing and diminishing the nerve’s sensory capability.

But I don’t think it means that folks with fibromyalgia necessarily have more stress… just that they are more sensitive to perceiving it.  Just like my husband can eat super spicy salsa and say it is “flavorful” and tastes good, while one tiny dab of it on my tongue has my lips burning off, my eyes tearing up, and my throat burning.  It ruins my whole meal.  But who is right — is the salsa spicy, or is it not spicy?  The salsa just is.  It is our perception that makes it spicy or not spicy.  To Craig, it’s not spicy.  To me, it is unbearable.

So when my back starts flaring… do I have more tension in my shoulders then someone who doesn’t feel any back pain?  Who cares.  What matters is, that I can *percieve* my shoulder tension acutely and it is telling me something.  Seen in this light, isn’t my sensitivity a gift?  A blessing?  That I can sense, earlier then others, when my body is stressing out?

Yes, I believe it is.  Because I know *right away* when I need to take care of myself… I don’t bottle it up and ignore it and wait for it to manifest in a more serious disease before I will take notice.  I know moment by moment, just by running my hand across the back of my neck, how I am doing with my attitude.

“We make life a burden by our attitude.” – Louise Hay

This is so very true with me, and I suspect a lot of folks with hypersensitivity issues, like fibromyalgia.  My shoulders are my own personal indicator of how much strain I am feeling.  And the strain I am feeling is all created by my attitude.  Thoughts start to creep in, when my trigger points start to flare… thoughts like “I’m the one who does all the chores, all the cooking, all the cleaning, I don’t get enough time to myself, I haven’t even brushed my teeth today, all I’ve done is care for everyone else, blah, blah, blah, blah.”  I’m boring myself even typing it out.

But in the moment… oh, in the moment… that is my deepest *truth*… my shoulders are screaming out “WHAT ABOUT ME?!?!?” and it’s like a slap across the face.  Wake up!  What am I doing?!?  Chores… they are privileges… privileges for sharing my home with the three most amazing souls I have ever met.  And you know what?  If I don’t want to do them, I shouldn’t.  Nobody has to do anything.  You don’t *have* to.  Do you know that?  You don’t even *have* to breathe.  Breathing, living, being… they are all a gift.  The moment you don’t feel that you *have* to do anything is the moment you will start wanting to do all the things you were resisting.  You don’t have to do chores… deep inside, you want to.  You choose to.

So I don’t have to become the martyr…  it is my choice.  It always has been my choice.  Every thing I’ve ever done has been a choice.  The fact is, I am the luckiest woman alive… and the very moment that I stop feeling that way, my shoulders remind me.

The path out from under my shoulder pain is simple.

First, I re-align with what I *know* to be true.  I am blessed beyond belief.  And I don’t have to do it all.  I don’t have to do anything.  I stop.  And I wait until I *want* to do something before I do it, instead of doing things I don’t want to be doing, and then blaming everyone else.

I re-focus on my bliss… on what makes me happy.  When I have trigger points, what makes me happy is usually having my husband push on my shoulders to help break them up.  And then I take some extra fish oil.  And some tryptophan and melatonin so I’m sure to get an excellent night’s sleep.  And if I’m smart, I’ll do some yoga, stretch out my neck.

And sure enough, as I focus on my bliss, my relief, my joy… I find 101 other things to be thankful for.  They just line up for me… hitting me over the head with my reality.  Life is neither a burden nor a blessing… it’s our attitude that makes it so.  Salsa is neither spicy nor mild… it’s our perception of it that makes it so.

So I see that door, with music and light and joy and laughter just beyond.   And I get to decide which side of the door to stand on.  Sometimes, it feels like the door is locked and I can’t get in.  In those moments, I stop the struggle.  I stand there for a moment in time, an eternity, a blink, it doesn’t matter… I close my eyes and I listen to the music through the door.  Even if that is all I can do for that moment.  Even if listening to the music is the only thing I can access… even if I feel my muscle fatigue and pain locking me into a dark room.

Close my eyes… I can still hear the music.  Neither resisting the muscle pain nor focusing on it, I am okay.  I am content.  I am thankful for my messenger… my pain.  Telling me to stop for now.  I am okay, I’ve done enough.  It’s saying thank you to me… it’s telling me I’ve done enough and I can pause now.  I have the ability to allow *all* my experiences to be joyful and satisfying, even if all I can do is survive the moment.  Even if all I can do is lay there and listen.  I don’t have to fight it.  It is enough to just BE.

And soon enough, my mind has wandered.  Off of my shoulder discomfort and on to other things.  The curious and the optimistic in me has re-awoken.  The music has my toes tapping.  I don’t *have* to stand back up and face the music, the chores, the life that is waiting for me… I *want* to.  I’ve reached for the doorknob and opened the door and I am stepping back into the party.  This is why I’ve come!  This is the ride I’m on, and I’m committed to it.  I’m not holding back, judging it, wishing for something else… I’m allowing the experience of it to be okay just the way it is.

Is my fibromyalgia a blessing or a disease?  It’s up to me to decide.  xoxo

My Baby

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This huge guy, running at me across the living room, is my little baby.  Turning 7.  Waaaaahhhhhh!  In one weekend, he turns from a young child (6) to an older kid (7)… or at least that is how it feels to me.

Oh my goodness, to top it off, he lost his second tooth as well.

I love you forever and ever Miles.  No matter how big your feet get.  Even though we wear the same size shoe (what the heck?!?!  You are 7 years old!?!?  How come I have to order us both the same sized Crocs?).   And even though I could put your hoodie on and wear it.  You are still my tiny snuggable sweet little baby boy looking up at me with beautiful green eyes and kissable little lips.  I completely adore you.

Being your Mommy fulfills my ultimate heartsong.  Happy 7th Birthday!  xoxo

My Favorite Thing… In the Bedroom

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Blues and greens and browns… soothing to me.  And if you recognize those curtains, yes… they used to be in my dining room!

This week’s My Favorite Thing is the bedroom… and I’m just warnin’ ya, there are going to be a LOT of pictures!

What I love most is that clump of pictures hanging right on the wall…

Here is my bedroom… although I don’t get to see it like this much.  Picture the bed messed up, the pull out love seat opened up into a sofa bed, tons of Legos everywhere, and lint and dog hair making an alternative *carpet* on the floor.

I found it challenging to photograph artwork behind a glass without getting too much reflection in it… but this one is worth squinting past the reflection to see.  I mean, come on… squirrels that are praying, saying “love is with you” — really, can the world get any better then that?  I especially love how the last squirrel sneaks in “love you” at the end. Courtesy of my daughter Clara, at age 4

The thing I love about this room doesn’t change, no matter how dirty this room gets.  The thing I love is hanging right above the bed.  And the artwork was free… the best kind… yes, I know if you’ve been following my blog at all you instantly knew what I have framed… my kid’s artwork.  I’m pretty much obsessed with what they write and draw and doodle.  I’ve blogged about that here and here before.  But I mean, look at this stuff!

Oh yes, the world can get better… here she draws, in charcoal, one person sending love to another in the distance.  Just beautiful.

Did you all know that there is a cool program on www.blurb.com that transforms your blog into a book?  And since I don’t scrapbook at all, or even print out pictures for a photo album, this blog is my little record of our life.  Like most blogs, it’s rewarding because it is a personal journal… and I plan on ordering a personal book of my blog each year to get me off the hook for the fact that I suck at maintaining a baby book or scrapbook of any kind.

“Just do what your soul says.

Just listen to your heart song.

Just do what your soul says.

Just listen to your heart song.

Just do it, just do it, just do it, just do it.

Just do what your soul says.”

-my son Miles, sung out loud at age 4

(have you ever heard such good advice in all your life?!?!)

SO!  I admit the ulterior motive for this post today is to document some of the amazing things I have hanging on the wall in my bedroom… all from my kids.  Because I know the colors will fade, the paper get brittle… but damn I love these things!

My daughter drew this one… our family, with all of our many many pets!

These drawings and quotes are about 3 years old now… my kids were 4 and 6 when I framed these all up… now they are almost 7 and 9… and each year I think I should frame some of their more recent stuff.

My son drew Wolverine… can you see his steel claws?

I mean, they create new gems all the time, each one just as precious to me as the last.

“Focusing on something is like voting for it.  You are voting it in to your life.”

– my daughter Clara, 6 years old, the sage

But I take one look at these, made with fingers that were plumper then they are now, tinier fingernails and smaller hands… each year those fingernails that I clip get bigger, and bigger… when I hold their hands, their fingers are almost impossible to tell from mine at this point…

Miles drew our puggle Brownie, under a tree, by a lake.


… and I think, no WAY can I take these off the wall now!

Clara drew a mama bird protecting her chicks from the rain… and I love how it represents my life… the love I have for my own baby birds and what a privilege it is to stand by their side, in the rain.  She captured motherhood so perfectly here.

So folks, that’s it for my bedroom… I love how (compared with the other rooms in my home) it is so sparse and uncluttered.  Love that I don’t even have a clock in it.  Love lots of things… but nothing as much as the art on the walls.

Come back on Monday for a new Thought on Health!  Have a great weekend!  xoxo

I saved the funniest one for last… dang I love this… Clara drew us, if we worked for a circus.

Clara’s on the trapeze, Miles is walking on his hands, Daddy is jumping on a trampoline… and I’m balancing on a ball spinning plates in each hand!  How does she come up with this stuff?  Love it!

Laughing at my face

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My kids are constantly breaking down my walls for me, and I feel like a newer, lighter human being because of their joy and love. Damn we are lucky to have our kids, aren’t we?

Seeing the natural overwhelming beauty that my daughter possesses blows every other preconceived notion of “beauty” out of the water for me. Barbie doll? Ridiculous. Laughable to me, even. And here is how…

My daughter takes one look at the towers of catalogs and models that wait for us each day in our mailbox… people who are so beautiful that they are getting paid for what they look like… and she gets excited, and runs for a pen. And as I wander around the house, cleaning up the piles of mail and such, these are the things I see.

 

I laugh out loud so hard tears come out.

It just never fails.

She doesn’t see an impossibly perfect person who makes other woman feel badly enough about their own face to run out and buy this particular make up product to cover up with.

Nope. She sees with open eyes.

And what she sees is a blank canvas.

Something to improve upon with a few doodles, a great imagination, and a joyful heart.

 

It lifts me up and frees me from my own walls of self-hatred… wishing I was more beautiful… wishing to be something other then what I am… carefully developed from years of reading teen magazines and watching commercials and movies when I was a girl…

This You Tube video of Killing Us Softly has been around before, but this time it hit me that for the first time, I felt quite free from this type of *perfection* pressure.

It is really worth a watch, if you haven’t seen it yet… it’s eye opening, and I think it is important for everyone to see, menfolk included.

 

Then I find a beauty like this, and my kids remind me yet again that EVERYTHING is supposed to be fun.

That’s why we are here!

Even beauty is supposed to be fun.

 

That’s a new concept for me… I thought beauty was supposed to be stressful and competitive. But watching my daughter have fun for hours trying on different outfits and flinging the clothes all over her bedroom is enough to show me that our bodies are supposed to bring us joy.

And adorning them, dressing them, even making them up or scenting them, is supposed to be for fun… not from fear or guilt.

The half hearted way I’m tempted to dab on foundation when my skin looks drab… I’m not doing it!

I’m not doing it unless it is FUN!

I’m not going to do it if the reason I’m doing it is because I feel ugly and I want to cover up.

NO. I’m doing this the right way now. I’m only going to put make up on when it’s because I feel gorgeous!

And I’m only dressing up if it’s with a huge smile on my face because I want to!  Or I’m sticking on lipstick because I love this huge smiling toothy mouth of mine, not because I look in the mirror and see pale thin lips and want to erase them.

 

My son helps me too… and he doesn’t even know he does.

I overheard this exchange from my two kids as we were getting ready for bed last night:

Miles: “Sometimes, when we are at a store and I’m laughing, I’m not laughing because anything is funny. I’m laughing at Mommy’s face.”

Clara: “Yeah. Mommy’s face is so weird.”

*******Peels of laughter and cracking up********

 

And I know how far I’ve come, in this whole beauty/insecurity dance I do, when comments like that make me laugh and please me… truly please me… instead of make me run anxious to a mirror to see what they heck they are laughing at.

 

Another gem was Miles saying to me (as he is watching me wake up one morning a few weeks ago): “Mommy, your face is really wrinkled when you are sleeping. But during the day, it just looks regular… like a teenager.”

Wow. Like a teenager… my regular face, with no make up? No one else but my son could look at me and say that with total honesty.

But it was said with the innocence and complete conviction and truth of childhood… not as a compliment to make me happy… but as a raw and utter fact from my son.

So I’ll take that over looking like a Barbie doll any day of the week.

doodle 4

 

Now go find a catalog and doodle armpit hair on all the women and butt fumes coming up from all the men.

I guarantee you you can’t take beauty too seriously with a Sharpie marker in your hand.

xoxo, Laura