I used to hide from the camera. In my teen years, I didn’t want to remember what I looked like. In fact, I still feel that way. Like most teens, I was insecure–about my acne, my weight, my smile, and everything else. My measuring stick were my sisters. They were and are beautiful. In my mind, I could not compete to my dark haired beauty counterparts.
The struggle continued into my marriage. But, like the famous Mahana (Mormon joke), my husband’s continuous praise helped me see beyond the physical impurities and recognize my great potential.
Acceptance of my body has come in different stages. The most important, for me, was accepting my face by no longer avoiding the camera.
Over the past few months, I have obsessed about including myself in photos. Not because I have some sense of impending doom, but because I want my kids to have photographic proof that I was at certain events and that we did have fun together.
(The one catch, Ben is not allowed to photograph me. How do I put this…the photos he takes of me are not the most attractive. Hey, I have my dignity to maintain.)
Since I am alone with my kids much of the day, I photograph us with the old-school style of holding the camera out and taking face shots. That’s right, face shots. My fear of looking at my blemished face has disappeared. This is for my kids anyway.
These kids? They make my life full. Fuller than I could ever have imagined.
Since the miscarriage, I am often reminded to hold my two babies close. This is hard because the physical pain I am experiencing; still, I hug and rock them constantly.
How can I possibly describe the indescribable? My little Emily and Andrew are my life. I say that unashamedly. Sure I have myself outside of them, but right now that “self” seems so unnecessary. Perhaps it was the miscarriages that helped me see my reality: Despite the challenges of being a mother, it is one of the best jobs I have and will ever hold.
I will also say, I am the best mother for them. Yes I am. No living person loves these two more than me. Another person would not sing them personalized songs when they wake up from naps and in the morning or throw spontaneous dance parties when they wake up at midnight or miss them while they are sleeping. I am their interpreter, teacher, cook, mediator, and, best of all, their mother.
In a short time they will be grown up. The will no longer need me as much as now. This doesn’t make me sad, however, because I feel one of my greatest job responsibilities is raising them to be moral, industrious, conscientious adults. For now, though, they need me. And I need them.
They see my face daily. Not the face I crucially examine, but the perfect face of their beloved mother.
Just like I only see perfection in them.