A pretty lady said the bit in the title (less the "s" after "daughter") to me the other day. She gave this as her reason for spending 3 hours to get going each day (makeup and other high maintenance self-care rituals). The way she said it, combined with the way she looked at me, contained the between-the-lines implied reproach of, "And you should take better care of yourself so your daughters can be proud of you". And no, I was not being over-sensitive. Yes, I admit that I may have a tendancy toward that problem, but this was, indeed, not an instance of it. I know I was not being over-sensitive because she specifically said that her daughter compared her to women in her Hispanics' fashion magazine and then looked at me to share a similar experience or excuse myself. I didn't. I just nodded my head, smiled a little too tightly, and said that I thought what she'd shared was nice and I was glad she felt good that he daughter was proud of her.
I didn't have the energy or ability to focus on my own thoughts at that time because of stretching my awareness over my three daughters at Ria's Dance class (Tea in my lap and Ria and Kat playing before Ria's class started). My conversation with the pretty lady stretched into Ria's dance class period so I only had Tea and Kat to mind, but I still didn't feel up to expressing my thoughts and feelings about her reproach. Also, I felt it was appropriate to simply let her talk because she obviously needed someone to talk to and I was relatively available. However, this topic and my reaction to it have been much on my mind. So I want to address the issue. I hope you don't mind reading along.
I, too, do want my daughters to be proud of me. I hope that they will think of my appearance (at least during these years of their lives, I do hope it will improve) with tolerance and forgiveness as well as understanding that Mama was trying to get her exercise and eating habits in order. Something, admittedly, that I should have done while single. And I did... a few times. Food and I just have issues! I like it too much and it sticks to me like super glue. *sigh*
I think the above should (and hopefully DOES) lead one to realize that my fondest hope is not for my daughters' approval and pride in my appearance. Looks fade. Eventually, they droop and sag and wrinkle. It's inevitable. Unless, of course, you hope to die young. I honestly hope to live to be at least 100... so wrinkles, drooping, sagging, parchment-paper skin, and other signs of agedness are likely a BIG part of my future! I'm really okay with it and, in a way, welcome it because it means I will have MADE it at least a good portion of the way to my life expectancy goal. Yes, I have a goal for that! Don't you!??
So, in what way DO I want my daughters to be proud of me? It's in the title. It must be applicable somehow. I will add the caveat that I hope their pride in me is the Godly kind, not the prideful BAD kind that includes some form of idolatry or whatever. :) Hopefully the previous would be assumed, but I just had to put it out there, just in case.
If I accomplish some of my goals, my daughters will be proud that I really truly TRIED HARD. They will see in all of my lame mistakes, a person striving. They will recognize, in all my poor excuses of effort, a Mama who LOVES her girls and wanted to give them her VERY best. A Mama who wanted to give them THE very best out of life and the greatest opportunities, but didn't know how lots of times, yet was always ALWAYS trying! They will see in my sometimes painstaking efforts, a woman trying to learn every bit of anything that could have to do with MamaING and applying it as well as I could at any given time. They will be proud to see in my actions a woman who didn't have an easy time loving being a Mama, but who strove and endured and WORKED to love being their Mama!
My girls will be proud that I made my best effort to fulfill my callingS in the very best way I knew how with a strident effort to listen to and follow the promtings of the Spirit at all times. This, if I accomplish it, will overlap the previously mentioned bit as well as extend out into the world - probably most heavily into our Ward family.
They will be proud that I tried to love everyone. Even those who hurt me out of ignorance, misguided impressions, or spite. They will recognize my efforts to meet people everywhere I went and my subsequent efforts to pull those newly met people into any given group. They will know these were some of my efforts to comfort those that stand in need of comfort. My daughters will be proud that I always tried to increase unity in the groups and among the people I found myself - regardless of how difficult it often was for me to reach out.
If I accomplish, even in small measure, any of these goals (and many I'm not specifying), my daughters will be proud of me because they will see in my words and deeds a VERY human woman striving to be like our Savior. They will know that I failed miserably too many times and in too many important ways, but they will see in their mind's eye picture: my lame nape-of-the-neck-mousy-brown-pony tail, my make-up-less face, and too many pounds per square inch a woman who tried VERY hard to avoid pride (a problem I have huge issues with because even as fat as I am I have a really very symmetrical face, which symmetry is the basis of physical beauty) and who, in her efforts tried to help others (including and most especially her own family) instead of making sure she was always perfectly coiffed.
Women who wear make-up and do their hair nicely are definitely not bad. I certainly know that they are good and can do just as much (or more) good than I. I will also readily admit that I enjoy looking at the women around me who are perfectly made up with hair in place at all times. They are a joy to behold. I have nothing against women who take time to beautify themselves. My priorities simply lie elsewhere and I cannot apologize for it. My thoughts expressed here are simply my effort to convey to you, if you think poorly of women like me based on our seemingly un-kept (or less fiddled with) appearance, is that I just don't care or can't let myself care about what is so important to you. I'm not bad either! That's all.
3 months ago