Lily has definitely entered sponge mode, and I’m constantly amazed by each new understanding and skill. She’s cruising around, regularly demonstrating a (fiercely adorable) independent streak, and becoming quite a little talker; this week, she’s been working on uh-oh, peek-a-boo, and the long awaited mama—and I definitely heard her little voice parrot ba-ba-ba after I accidentally called poor Charlotte a butthead.
Because Dmitri and I understand that we need to be really intentional about the behavior and language we use around her, we’ve been working to reduce the number of four-letter words uttered in our house and are focusing instead on finding more creative—and kid-friendly—ways to express ourselves. But yesterday morning, frustrated by too-snug jeans, Mississippi-frizzy hair, and a really impressive pimple on my cheek, the words I used in front of the mirror were far from kind. In fact, my language was so mean—and so potentially destructive– that it really left me wondering when I started to believe that it was acceptable to say things to myself that I’d never dream of saying to another person.
And then I remembered an article I read a few months ago about Operation Beautiful (www.operationbeautiful.com), a website—and a movement—dedicated to reminding women that real beauty comes from within. To be perfectly honest, I was skeptical; after all, this is a message that I’ve heard a million times before. But after visiting the site and reading through dozens of incredible, anonymous sticky note messages–posted on mirrors in public bathrooms, boxes of drug store hair color, and other totally unexpected places– I was moved. Encouraged. And totally inspired to be so much better.
I’m not sure how to undo so many years of negative self-talk, but I’m positive that helping Lily to understand how valuable she is, regardless of how much she weighs or what she wears, is a solid first step. And while I’m certain that I’ll probably slip up and make a critical comment very once and a while, I feel so much better just knowing that there is this incredibly valuable critical mass of women out there in the world, committed to improving the way we see ourselves and honor one another–just the way we are.