What I Hope She Always Sees

We don’t enter the world aware of our flaws. As children, we begin to believe we are flawed based on what the people around us think. First, we look for approval from those we love most. Later, we seek that approval from the outside world—our teachers and our friends. Ultimately, all our babies want is to feel like that they are fine just the way they are. Really, that’s what every human being wants.

When I look at my daughter, I see a perfect little girl. Yes, I know that no one is truly perfect, but I also can’t identify a flaw in this child. Every little funny and quirky thing she does is just a part of who she is. No flaw; just Jada. She’s different. We are all different. As she approaches her second birthday, I know that I won’t be able to protect her forever. I know that she will one day begin to identify flaws in herself. Maybe someone will point something out to her, or maybe she will begin to compare herself to others because she sees others do the same.

The thing is, I don’t want her to grow up thinking she is perfect. That can become a problem, too. However, I also don’t want her to grow up feeling like she isn’t good enough. I want her to know that she is always good enough. I want her to know that we are all different and that our differences make us unique. I want her to know that any change she ever seeks to make in herself should never be for anyone but herself.

I want my baby girl to grow up and see herself as I see her. I want her to see her smile and know that it lights up a room. I want her to hear her laugh and know that it’s infectious—spreading joy everywhere she goes. I want her to see her strength and know that she should never pretend to be weaker just to make someone else feel better about themselves. I want her to see her beautiful brown skin and know that it is perfect as it is. I want her to run her fingers through her hair and realized that she can do whatever she wants to it because it’s just hair and although it can change her look, it doesn’t define who she is.

As a mom, I know that the way I feel about myself will have a powerful impact on the way my little girl feels about herself. I also know that even with my words of love and affirmation, she may still grow to have insecurities at some point in her life. I get that. But I hope that any insecurities are short-lived because she will find herself remembering who she really is, and in that moment, she will begin to see herself just as I see her.

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