I had the most wonderful day with my daughter today. It was one of those days that makes me so grateful to be able to be with her every moment of every day and so worth the petty sacrifices I've made to be able to do so. I'm not exactly sure what precipitates a day like this, if it has something to do with me, or her, or the stars, but it is such a beautiful thing, regardless of cause. I don't know what I did to deserve such a thoughtful, caring, sweet little girl, but it must have been pretty impressive.
Recently, my dear friend, Carrie, posted a piece on her incredibly well-written and thought-provoking blog, http://www.iwantnina.blogspot.com/, about the image(s) of ourselves that we project to the world. It really got me thinking about the things that most influence the images I project and the things that shape them, from my near-crippling issues with body image, to my unrealistic drive for perfectionism, to my tendency toward obsessive-compulsiveness. I thought a lot about how I even put up a front for the people closest to me (I think we all do to a certain extent)... but not with Sophie. Aside from the fact that we're always together, I think part of the reason we're so in sync with each other is because I don't need to pretend with her. I can be the "real" me because she has yet to develop self-consciousness and therefore, has no idea about concepts like judgement.
What a gift this has been for me! Since I've been able to let my guard down with her, I've learned so much about myself that I either never knew existed or completely forgot about. This has definitely been one of the most unexpected yet welcomed aspect of motherhood for me thus far.
This is certainly not to say that all of my revelations have been positive. For the first year or more of Sophie's life I was plagued by a fairly deep depression. Suddenly the mirror was right in front of my face all the time and I often didn't like what I saw. It has taken me, and is taking me, a long time to come to terms with and work on many different aspects of myself that, frankly, I'm not crazy about. But on days like this, when the stars align just right, I actually see quite a few areas that I not only like, but am proud of. And it's days like these when I realize that you have to have good with bad, as day needs night and hot needs cold.