I am Stay Smiling at You Mum

To my Darling Mini-Me

You stopped me in my tracks this morning. I walked past your bedroom door. You were standing in front of your mirror, brushing your hair, with your little sister watching you silently. You had no idea that you were being watched. You were beautiful. Suddenly, you looked so different; so grown up. The little smile on your face as you gently combed melted me.  You were smiling because you were happy;  Happy with what you saw.  Content with your reflection.  Beautiful and perfect and blissfully content with how you look.

You caught me watching and stopped, mid-stroke.

“Am I gawjus Mammy?” you asked before continuing to brush.

“You really are Darling” I answered, but you were already back at it, not really caring what I said.  Because you already knew that you are.

And indeed you are.

You’re beautiful.

For you, Dear Daughter, I have many hopes.  One of my main hopes is that you get to smile that little smile while looking at your reflection for as long as possible.  Because there will come a day, when you will look at yourself just a little bit differently.  You will compare yourself to your friends. You will look at the images online and in print and wonder why you don’t look like they do.  You will suddenly find yourself criticising your reflection, rather than enjoying it.

And it breaks my heart.

If you’re anything like your Mammy (and we both know you are!), you will deal with wonky teeth, you will be tortured by bad skin well into your adult years, and you will probably wait impatiently for the boobs that everyone else seems to have!  I can save you a lot of trouble right now my Darling.  You’ll probably still be waiting as you approach 40, but by then, you’ll be glad that they never arrived!

Life is cruel and society can be one savagely bitchy playground.  If I can give you one thing, it will be the ability to be comfortable in your own skin.  You may wish your teeth were straighter or that your skin was blotch free or that your nose was smaller, but you will know that you are you, and that it is these little features that make you stand out, that make you individual, that make you perfect.

And I do my best.  Yes, I have days where I feel yucky, but I have finally reached the point of contentment where I care only what one person thinks about how I look:  and that person is ME.

Me, Myself and I.

You might not realise this, but I purposely take off my makeup after work in the kitchen so that you can see that it’s OK to not wear any.  When you ask me why I am putting on mascara, I try to answer that “I sometimes like to wear it”.  I’ll play dress up and makeup with you because I want you to know that it is something that women enjoy.  But I’ll also let you see me going into town without even brushing my hair, because I want you to get into the habit of not giving a crap if people don’t like what you’re wearing or how you look.

I’ll let you wear tights that do NOT match your dress if you want to, because in no time at all, society will be dictating what you wear anyway. And you will not see me standing on scales.  You will see me train but you’ll not hear my swearing under my breath at the exercises! Any issues you are going to get about your beautiful self, I do hope that they do not come from me.

I will do anything for you both, you know that.  I care for you.  I feed you. I look after you.  And I promise that I will also help you to always think you are gawjus.  I will tell you you’re beautiful, even though some parenting “experts” tut at young girls being told they’re pretty.  Nonsense.

I will always tell you you’re beautiful, because there’ll be enough bitches who revel in making you feel that you aren’t.

So you keep smiling that perfect little smile my Gawjus girl, because there is nothing more beautiful than a smile.

And there is no one more beautiful to me, than YOU.

All my love,

Mammy.

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