Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beautiful Lily

My daughter does not look very much like me. Her face is different, her features more exotic. Her eyes are almond shaped, her lips full. Her eyebrows are like Brook Shield's. Her hair lays exactly right and curls ikn ringlets at the bottom.

But from the neck down, she has my body. From our squishy elbows, to our bigger ankles, we have the same shape. Her legs are short but strong, her shoulders broad. Her hands are small and delicate, her feet wide like mine.

When I look at her, I see myself, in all the lines of her figure.

When I look at myself, alot of the times I don't like what I see. I don't need to go into details. I am not what society teaches is beautiful.

But my daughter...is... perfect. She is glorious. She is amazing and strong and beautiful. From the tops of her head to her toes, she is the essence of all grace and glory.

And for now, she knows no different. She doesn't know the curves she will inherit will be something to obsess over, or that she will never be willowy or delicate. She will always be strong, not slender.

I look at her, and see myself. And I think about what I would be teaching her if she knew what I was saying about myself. "Oh my big butt, oh my huge tummy. I hate my thighs. I hate my small breasts." Eventually, she would look from me to herself...and start to pick away at her beauty.

I can't let that happen. I can't let her think she is anything less than perfect, even if her small strong body isn't something everyone she encounters will deem beautiful. I want her to hold her head high and KNOW her worth lies in more than the size of her jeans or in the curve of her waist. I want her to know her beauty is God-given, and to be treasured. I will tell her that He created her, that he knows her, and that He finds her to be more beautiful than words.

But that starts now, doesn't it? It starts with me. If she's going to love herself, she has to see it modeled first. She has to see that the body she has inherited may not be slim, but it can carry babies, feed them. It is strong and agile and will carry her through life. It will be unbroken by falls, the muscles easily toned. It can be honed into a fit, lovely shape that may not be exactly as she would want it, but that is worthy of love all the same.

It is my responsibility to instill this in her. I have to help her to be so strong in spirit, that nothing can shake her love for herself. This starts with being kind to my own body, scarred and stretched as it is. Because this was once her home, this soft body. These breasts were once her sole source of nourishment. These arms still hold her when she is scared. This body still cradles her, carries her, and nurtures her, all while carrying her brother.

It may not be perfect. It may not be beautiful to everyone, but this body is something I need to treasure and love, so that she will do the same for herself.