This is my beautiful Lula. Inside and out. I see it. My Lula doesn't see it. My Lula looks in the mirror and doesn't like what she sees. My Lula looks in the mirror and sees a girls who needs to be trimmer and fitter. She sees a girl who no one takes seriously, who gets over looked and placated.
Is that the girl you see? If you know my Lula I bet you don't see that, I bet you see the girl who always makes you smile, has a kind word to share, the girl who would do anything for her friends. You probably see the girl who is always going out of her way to make sure things are right in your world, who will give up homework, family time, her favourite movie, video game or adventure if you need a shoulder to lean on. You probably see the little girl who gave her favourite big bubbly plastic ring to a kindergarten classmate who lost her own down the sewer drain. You probably see the girl who can find art in everything. You probably see the girl with the beautiful eyes and the confident walk all nestled under a perky puffy bun of auburn curls. If you know my Lula, that is probably who you see. As a Mom and as a human being am very humbled to know such a beautiful soul.
If you don't know my Lula, you might be wondering how can such a beautiful and amazing girl have such a negative impression of herself? How can she think that what she sees in the mirror is not enough. How can she not see what everybody else sees?
First she has a mother who has failed to celebrate her enough. Second she has siblings, siblings in teenage years can be your very best friend, they are also notoriously hurtful and mean spirited to one another. Third she has friends who don't take her seriously, they feed on her humour and can't imagine that she is hurting inside. And yes she is a teenager trying to find her way in the world and identify who who is. Those things don't do much for a person's self esteem.
I am the mom of this beautiful girl and I wish that I could talk so she could hear me. I wish I could say all of the things she needs to hear to recognize the incredible young woman she is. We have a deadlock in our home. Lula thinks that I'm not listening, but I am, I just can't see all of the things she thinks she is not, I can only see all the amazing thing she is. I see them and I tell her, the trouble is that she can't hear all of the amazing things. She can only hear all the things she thinks she is not.
Being the mom of a teenage girl is heart wrenching at times because of the potential you see in your daughter, because they often times fail to see it themselves and because all of the talk from you in the world does not have the power of a single word from a stranger or a friend.
Gratitude today to the people who see my beautiful Lula and have the words that I don't have to help her see what she can't see.
Have I made the situation seem desperate? Yesterday was a day like I've written above. Fortunately, my beautiful Lula is also grounded in reality and has a great amount of support and a very equal number of fabulous days.
I let her read this post before making it public and she gave me her permission to share it. With the caveat “It is beautifully written, except those spots that make it sound like I am depressed about myself. Maybe for a few minutes yesterday maybe I was, but I'm good again.”
So this is really why I wrote this piece. To help Lula identify the blip on the radar screen. To remind her that we all have those days and to remind the rest of us...
That not everyone has more great days then bad blips. To remind us that people don't always see themselves the way we see them, that sometimes we can't see that people need to hear about their beautiful.
When you are out and about today recognize the beautiful in someone – not just in your head but out loud so someone else can recognize it. We all need to hear it sometimes from people who have the words we can hear.