Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Special Gift from My Mom

During my childhood, my mother gave me a very special gift.  It was not something I could hold in my hands, but something I could carry with me the rest of my life. 

She invested in my self-worth.

I think back and I really can’t remember a time when I heard my mother complain about her physical body.  Is my mother beautiful?  Yes, she’s gorgeous.  Was she always happy with her body?  If she is a living, breathing woman, I’m guessing she wasn’t always happy with it.  Her body has gone through changes just like any other woman’s, as she has given birth to three beautiful and amazing children.  (Do you like how I threw that beautiful/amazing children part in there? Ha.)  Did she think she was perfect?  Of course not. But... There were no “pity parties” about her body to her daughters.  If she did complain, I don’t remember it.  WOW, if you are a woman, you know that takes some inner strength.

Me as a 5-year-old flower girl

Just as amazing, I STILL remember what Mom would tell me when I started to complain about my own body.  I was super-skinny as a young lady and NOT in a “cool” way.  My lanky, long arms nearly touched my knees without me reaching!  One person called me “spaghetti arms” and it was stuck in my brain forever.  I complained about my nose, my arms, my pasty white skin that wouldn’t tan even with baby oil (oh, the 80s!), my lack of “curves” and much more. 

Any time my mom heard me complaining about any body part, she’d say, “HEY!  I worked hard giving birth to those arms!  Don’t you dare complain, I don’t want to hear it.” Well, who can complain to a woman who bore horrible pains giving birth to you and considers you as their “beautiful” child?  It would always make me shut up.

My mom helping me with my wedding dress

So here I am, a mother of two beautiful daughters.  I’ve certainly had many times where I am not happy with my physical body.  Weight fluctuations, body changes, and I still have that pasty white skin that refuses to turn even a dark peach.  I want to whine about it, BUT I know my daughters will hear it even if I’m not talking directly to them.  So as a gift to my daughters, I have sworn to intentionally eliminate the “self-image pity party,” and I smile as I use those spaghetti arms to reach that bowl on the top shelf.

Thank you, Mom, for all the gifts of love you have shown me.  I love you forever.  And after writing this post, I realize we need more pictures of the two of us together - usually one of us is holding the camera!

Happy Mother’s Day!

My mom and my daughter

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