Saturday, July 20, 2013

9 months deserves a toast...

29 inches long and 21 pounds, my crawling, standing, belly-laughing, high-fiving wunderkind. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

All you need is love

The past eight and a half months have felt like a dream.
Every day speeds by without pause. In retrospect, each week feels like a series of small, glittering moments. Fast, but full to bursting with everything-- love, tears, hugs, laughter, pain, sorrow, delight, and wonder wonder wonder.
Having a child is illuminating.
As Flynn discovers new things every day (saying "dada!", waving, crawling to every corner of the house and the joys of standing) I have found myself worrying.

When I was a little girl I remember peering often in the mirror on the antique wardrobe in my parents bedroom. I was always disappointed with my reflection. A small, tangle-haired girl with very large glasses looked back at me with a great deal of insecurity and a general hint of awkwardness. I must have been quite young at the time because I had a vision- whether just in my imagination or something I glimpsed in real life- of who I would become. I was poised, elegant, beautiful, confident, full of purpose and understanding--everything I felt I lacked at the time. I would peer deep into this girl's face and then turn away quickly with closed eyes. I would count to three.
1...It's going to happen this time...
2...When I open my eyes, everything will be different...
3... Open! I would search fleetingly for an inkling of that person behind those bespectacled eyes only to find something else.
Me, disillusioned.
And I would think, Not this time, not yet. But next time. Next time I will look different, to me and everyone else.

Learning to love ourselves is a process that we all endure and many struggle with. I have grown to love and appreciate myself more as I've grown older, but I will be the first to admit that I am not everything I imagined I would be as a child. My poise is nothing short of stooped and I am often still crippled by a paralyzing shyness. I have doubts about my appearance and, during our recent move allowed my leg hair to grow out at least an inch. I can be antisocial and hermitish, snappy to the ones who deserve to be snapped at least, insecure about my effectiveness as a mother and critical about my body. While my image often doesn't fit with the lovely vision of my childhood, these petty shortcomings don't sadden me. I am sad, however, that even as a young child I didn't see the things that were wonderful about me-- that even though I had glasses I was pretty, or that I was blessed with the ability to be extraordinarily kind to others, or that I was smart, and hopeful, and brave. I see this now because, as a mother, I appreciate children in a brand new way. Their innocence. Their creativity. Their ability to love purely, to find joy and to trust.When I look at Flynn I see perfection. Not because he is perfect, but because he is himself. I would not change one fluffy hair on his head. I have spent all my life wondering about him. And now that he is here I feel like he was always with me and I have known him for eternities-- longer than my life or his life or the life of any mortal person on this Earth, because that is how much I love him. My heart aches when I think of Flynn looking at his reflection and not being happy with who he is.

And so I worried. I worried that I will not be able to impress upon my son what an astounding miracle he is, that he may not appreciate the love that Jason, his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins have for him. How I have loved him. While contemplating this, I thought of my own experience, my good parents, my late blooming. My need to be taught how to love.
I think when I finally became the person I truly wanted to be I had stopped searching the mirror for a magic change. I found myself through others, those who loved me and showed me that I had value. That I was important and strong. That I was God's child.
If I can only impress one thing upon Flynn it is that  He is wonderful because he is Flynn-- he doesn't need another reason. I see such divine power in him.  I feel Heavenly Father's love for him and am overwhelmed for His love for me, that He has trusted me as steward over this eternal and precious person. When I think of every person in this way, that every neighbor, friend, restaurant waiter and driver on the interstate has heavenly parents who adore them, my heart swells with hope. This is it! The answer. Love for everyone allows us to see ourselves clearly--maybe how our mothers see us-- and to appreciate ourselves, our marvelous existence, the promise of our futures.
So I am teaching my child love, and the days continue to race on.