These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Keeping Me Humble


We all have things about ourselves that we wish we could change. Some of the things are more superficial than others.

Well, I've always been really self conscious of the mole that I have on my chin. I've had it since I was young and kids always have a way of noticing things that are different about you and bringing it to your attention.

I remember being in high school at a dance with a boy that I liked and he liked me. I remember once we were standing close to each other on a Riverboat and I was hoping he would kiss me when he looked at my face and said "What is that on your face?" I don't really remember if I ran away, but I left immediately because I suddenly felt like I was the most hideous person there and I didn't want to see the look of disgust on his face before he kissed me because he had to get closer to that thing on my face!

Looking back on that scenario, I'm sure it could just as easily have been something else - a pimple or a speck of something - but in my mind, it could only have been the mole on my face that I've been self conscious of since I became aware of it's existence. (Not that a pimple would have made me feel better....) :)

Even more recently, though, a co-worker was talking about an actor on the show Scrubs, Donald Faison, who plays Chris Turk and who I always thought was cute. He has a mole over his upper lip and this co-worker who is extremely short on tact, said that he wished he could give him a dime to have a rat gnaw that thing off his face because he couldn't stand looking at it.

This is a little rougher of a comment to bounce back from when you have the exact same facial mole as the one that your co-worker has just - well.... set new records for insults about.
I remember wanting to make him feel bad about it and so I said "You mean, like this?!?" pointing out my own facial mole which made him look at the ground and say "well, no, it's not the same thing...... stutter stutter, backpeddle, backpeddle...

(heh, heh, heh - insert evil laugh here)....

Well, you like to think as you get older, you shed these insecurities like a snake sluffs off a layer of skin and move into adulthood completely confident in who you are and with no "issues" to deal with - but insecurities are part of our personalities. They may temporarily lay dormant, but the minute someone brings them to our attention, well - they are back with reinforcements.

Okay - so where am I going with this?

Lately, you have really been noticing the mole on my face. You have decided that it is "Mommy's beeper" and will take your finger when you want to be amused and push it into the mole on my face and wait expectantly for me to make the "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP" sound that I make when you do this so you will 1) stop poking me in the mole on my face and 2) laugh and smile at me!

It always seems, though, that we are in very public places when you decide you want to push Mommy's beeper. When I drop you off in the morning at your daycare and I'm in the middle of a conversation with a teacher, or when we are at the grocery store waiting in line to check out, or at the swimming pool when I'm putting on your sunscreen or drying you off. Here it will come, starting with a devilish little smile as you look me right in my face and then here comes your little finger about to point out to everyone in the world this facial flaw that I abhore - just in case they hadn't noticed yet. PRESS!

.........timid sounding "beeeeeeeeeep" comes from me.
This is obviously not the reaction you were looking for because you pull your finger away and jab it more demandly into my facial mole. PREEESSSSSSSS!
Okay - obviously this isn't going to go away until I deliver, so "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!"
You laugh and say "MOMMY'S BEEPER!" and I respond "that's right, honey! That's Mommy's beeper!"

People that notice this display usually look away uncomfortably as though they are embarrassed for me. It's when I started to notice this reaction that I started offering explanations to people like family and his teachers and then I stopped offering explanations and began to think about this.
Why not correct you? Tell you this isn't okay? Well - because it's not a malicious or mean act. As a matter of fact, we usually have a good laugh afterwards, the two of us.

I guess I see it like this. We all have things about ourselves that we wish we could change. It could be something big or small - doesn't matter - they all seem big to us. But imagine yourself without those things. Can you? Would you be the same?

Without our insecurities, we all walk around thinking that we are gods gift to the world with a sense of superiority and entitlement and - well.... talk about flaws!
My point being that there will be things you don't like about yourself or others. My recommendation - own those flaws and, if you absolutely can't because it's just too hard, do something about it! That's my recommendation to you as your Mom! You'll never be able to let go of those insecurities, but if you try to keep them in perspective, you can sometimes get a great laugh at yourself out of it and - BOY, does that feel GOOD! :)
So - thank you, honey for keeping me grounded and forcing me to evaluate my perspectives. You have helped me to become a better person and I can't thank you enough for it! Maybe - by sharing these thoughts with you, I can return the favor someday. :)



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