Do you remember when you were in high school and you fell in love with someone from afar without even speaking a WORD to that person? How you would see someone at a wrestling match, or a basketball game and convince yourself that this person was the one you LOVED?
Oh boy, do I remember that. It hurt.
It was a crazy time in your life when hormones and a crazy attraction to someone messed with your head. Because I was short and looked incredibly young for my age, it wasn’t often that anyone I was secretly in love with would realize that they were in love with ME. It was quite unfortunate - and it gave me a bit of a self-esteem issue.
I was never tall enough, smart enough, beautiful enough or curvy enough; at least not in my mind. It wasn’t until decades later that I realized that I was wrong.
I attended a retirement party for my (wonderful) brother-in-law several years ago, and ran into some dear friends that I used to hang with in middle school. We laughed and laughed, and reminisced about so many wonderful things. We were quite good friends for those years, and it wasn’t until high school that we went our separate ways. At one point, two of the guys looked at me and smiled.
“You know, vodka, you were the hottest girl in high school.”
“What?????” I said, incredulously. “What are you talking about? You are CRAZY!”
“No, “ said Jack, “You were nice to all of us- everyone who wasn’t cool or athletic. But the best part was, being a gymnast for so long, you had the best body in the entire school.”
Sweet JESUS In HEAVEN I almost died. DIED. I mean, holy CRAP, when do you ever hear THAT?
Why couldn’t I have known that then? Why was it so hard, as a young woman, to realize that I was perhaps beautiful? Why did I think I was not good enough?
But now that I am where I am, and Mr. Darcy looks at me and tells me how beautiful I am, I still reply, "What? You're crazy." And he tells me again.
Then, I remember, and I thank him.
I thank him because I remember what I thought back then, and what I’ve reminded myself these last two years.
Beauty is about so many more things than what you see in the mirror.
Beauty is how you treat others. Beauty is how you walk the walk and talk the talk. Beauty is generosity, forgiveness and thankfulness. Beauty grows, evolves and matures through the years. Beauty comes from within and shines through like a beacon drawing in those who appreciate all aspects of a person, flaws and all. And now that I’m of an age where I can accept the fact that I might, in fact, be beautiful- I realize that I want to make sure my daughters know how very, very beautiful they are.
I don’t want THEM to wait 30 years to realize that.
Cheezus, a mother’s job is never done, is it?
Never, never, never.