Looks like this post will actually be on time! By “on time,” I mean that I will not be posting it super late tonight. What a concept! How am I managing this, you ask? I am actually typing this last night and used the feature that allows me to publish at a later time and date! I found this because I worked an opening guard shift and am (most likely) teaching a CPR course at the time this is published. What a cool feature!
Anyway, this post is going a bit deeper in the emotional spectrum, and is dedicated to my parents.
Dear parental units,
I know that I am not the most affectionate of daughters. I know that I spend more time laughing at your mistakes or jokes than I do telling you I love you or thanking you for all I have done. That is partially why I am writing this. The main reason for this post, dedicated to you, will be explained in the next paragraph.
I have been thinking about a series of memories from my childhood a lot this week. Remember when I was young and you expressed your needs to lose weight? Remember how I told you I would be sad if you weren’t as ‘cuddly’ as I was used to? I don’t think you understood it then, but that was my childish way to get you to see yourselves through my eyes.
I understood that being “skinny” and “fit” was a good thing that everyone wanted. I knew that being overweight was a bad thing. I could care less what your physical shape was. After all, you were my parents. I loved you without condition, and I still do. However, my immature mind interpreted your desire to shed a few pounds as one thing:
“We don’t love ourselves.”
Looking back, I know this was not necessarily the case. I only thought it was because you never expressed self-confidence when talking about your bodies. You never said that you liked how you looked in a certain shirt. You never said that losing weight would make you happy. As far as I knew, you only wanted to lose weight because it would make the rest of the world like you more for some reason.
I just wanted to express that I only asked you to stay ‘squishy’ because I thought it would help you see yourselves through the veil of unconditional love that covered my eyes as well as the eyes of every other child when they look at their parents.
That veil is still there. It may have changed a bit over the years as I have matured and developed a less-selfish and more mature worldview, but it is still there nonetheless. While you chastise me for having three piercings in each ear, wanting to dye my hair, get tattoos, more piercings, or whatever else I want to do, I will always love you.
I’m your little girl. I don’t care what you look like, but I wish you would cut me some slack in the same sense. I am still the same girl you raised and loved, no matter what extra holes or colors my body has on it. When I was little, I understood that you would still be my parents even if your body changed, and I did the best to make sure that you knew that. i only wish you could do the same for me now that I am all grown up and becoming my own person with my own tastes and beauty standards.
I am trying to love myself and be the person I want my future children, your future grandchildren, to look up to. I want to be a mom who loves herself so completely that I can show that to my children even when I am expressing insecurities and humanizing myself to them.
Your little girl
I know you probably hate it, but the picture I included of you two is one of my favorites. It shows you both laughing back in 2011. I don’t remember if this was taken at a bonfire or some other kind of get together, but it makes me so happy to see you smiling and laughing even though you are in dirty work clothes. This is how I love seeing you guys, so please don’t hate me if you read this and see that.
To all the other parents and role models reading this:
I know this post probably does not make much sense, but to all you parents out there, mine included, remember how important it is to show your children (and any other young person that looks up to you) that you love yourself despite your flaws and insecurities so they can grow up knowing how to love themselves as well.