What I Learned From My Mother

What are some things your mother taught you?

Someone asked this question to a group of women the other day and I spent the next several hours thinking about it.

At first, I couldn't think of anything. That sounds harsh, but what I mean is, I couldn't think of a "lesson" that my mom had taught me. I was trying to think of things my mother had sat me down and said "now let me teach you about..." and taught me something. And I felt like that had never happened to me, at least that I could recall.

During those next hours I played my 29 year life movie in my head thinking of things my mother has taught me. I realized that almost everything I learned, was learned by watching her. But there is one thing she taught me, that I'm not even sure she realized she was teaching me.

I learned from my mother that my body, my face, and my basic physical appearance have no correlation to my worth, and do not warrant the love I receive.

She never made comments like "maybe if you did your hair different" or "maybe if you wore a little more makeup." As a matter of fact, I do remember her not wanting me to wear makeup. I always wondered why, and now that I have Alice, I think I understand. She is beautiful just as she is and like the good new parent I am I will never let anything that is icky or gross touch her lovely untouched skin. And that lasted about a week, maybe two. But I tried, I really did. And I'll probably keep trying as long as she lets me.

Mom never made me feel like I needed to change anything in order to be liked or loved, not only by her but by anyone else. I obviously had those thoughts of my own accord once I heard others talk about me at school or saw what others did to change their appearance. But I have always known that she would love me no matter what I looked like. And I think that's why I never felt I needed to change in order to be loved.

I knew that I was lovable because I was me, and that is enough.
So to my mom, thank you for making sure I knew I was enough.