Monday, August 06, 2007

Power of Vantage

Discovering that I was having a daughter, and then a second, was life altering for me. I struggled for most of my life with worries about the size of my feet or the shape of my thighs, longing to be shorter and thinner, blonder and prettier. I had only fleeting moments of understanding the preciousness of my form. And then I became a mom of girls, and I realized that I had a duty, a moral responsibility to do everything in my power to help them understand the magic of who they are, from their curls and their cow licks, to their strong calves and long, powerful torsos.

We face the mirror each night and call out:

Good night strong.
Good night smart.
Good night pretty.
Good night silly, amazing, happy and wonderful.

And we mean it.

I try to do the same for myself, to approach this encouragement of acceptance from the inside out, to be genuine. I have marveled at my body, from pregnancy to delivery, it has performed exceptionally. My face has aged, new hollows and lines frame my eyes, my smile is different, saying as much about the journey I've made as about the moment I am living. I am tender to this face and to this body, loving them. And yet, I am not perfect. I make mistakes, I mutter idiot under my breath at myself, I struggle some mornings with the way the clothes on my body look when I pass a reflection. I am trying to do better, and for the most part, I am.

I am lucky because I have a partner, in parenting and in accepting. Sean travels this path of raising two girls right alongside me. I've heard him recite the rah-rah, night-night chant I've created. He talks about srength and beauty with equal weight, comments on my height and intelligence and imparts a sense of excitement in the girls for their very DNA. I stand taller as I revel in the love they are getting, that I am getting.

Occasionally Sean turns his lens on me and I am able to see without doubt the face he sees, but more to the point, the face that I have, that I am. I see the smile and the sparkle. I am reminded of the angles of my face, the line of my jaw and the length of my neck. I am reminded that I sometimes slip and forget the person that I am, too caught up in the person I aspire to be. Looking at my smiling face it all slips away and all that is left is love. My girls. My Sean. And Myself.





Today I am so very pleased to be me, mama to my girls, babe to Sean, and Mans or Mandarin to my friends and family.

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12 comments:

slouching mom said...

Oh, Amanda. Your words here are beautiful. Your nightly ritual with your girls is beautiful. And that picture of you alone?

Beautiful.

Lara said...

rock the F--- on, girl. seriously. you are so one of my heroes for this.

flutter said...

you are determined to make me cry today, hmm?

Gloria said...

Who needs to be shorter and thinner and blonder and prettier when you already look like that? I see after being a mother to two wonderful daughters you're still hot. Trust me, a lot would kill to look as fit as you! :) Your words are really beautiful...as the person who wrote it! :D

BetteJo said...

For some reason this post made me think of the beautiful picture of you in the full bloom of pregnancy - absolutely awesome. Beautiful, inside and out.

Momma Bean said...

You're fast becoming my favorite everything.

I wonder if I could borrow your girls' chant for my Beans?

You are quite beautiful. I need to learn to say that more to myself, for my daughters' sakes.

AmandaD said...

Our chants are so here for the taking. In the interest of full disclosure, sometimes we bid a magical goodnight to the "princess" in the mirror.

Scott said...

I applaud your desire to instill a sense of self worth and confidence in your girls, I hope it goes well. I try with my little girl and sometimes think it is working, then down the road she will tell me she's fat when she's not at all. I really resent when those other little girls at school are saying things like that and putting those thoughts and insecurities in her head. Beauty starts from within, that message is my goal to instill with my daughter.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I love this. It is something I struggle with, having a mother obsessed with her physical flaws and obsessed with trying to "fix" them.

I never felt strong or pretty as a young girl, and as an adult even less so.

But I see my daughter, her strong legs pumping and her mane of crazy hair and her gorgeous brain and I want her to feel all those things: smart, strong, healthy and beautiful.

Thank you, thank you, for lighting the way for me with your words.

Lovely, Amanda. Lovely.

ps - is that the Otesaga? Looks like it to me.

AmandaD said...

You are all just wonderful with your comments, and beautifuls moms, and moms-one-day-to-be, yourselves!

Mrs. Chicken, the place is actually, well it doesn't have a name, but here's the link.

We'll have to check out the place you mentioned!

Mom of a munchkin said...

I LOVE the idea of standing in front of the mirror and saying goodnight the way you do. Beautiful!

sha said...

I am a first time reader and am reading several posts. This one moved me. By your writing I can tell that you are kind, intelligent and funny. And by the picture I can tell that you are beautiful. When you read this I bet the 'beautiful' will pale in comparison to the 'kind, intelligent and funny', and that makes you an awesome person.