I was the same as anyone who dreams of a family.
I imagined them.
I wrote their names in cursive in my diary.
I wanted them to be different than me, to be more than me, to be less of me.
When my daughter's eyes started to change, from the dark blue she was born with to the brown she now sees the world with, I was crushed. I had been dazzled by those blue eyes and the way they made her look more like her father than me. I didn't realize, until they began to look so much like mine, how much I had wanted her to take after him.
And my son—who struggles so much with finding his voice—I wanted him to be the leader, the one who gets noticed, the kid who never has to hope he'll get picked. I wanted him not to have to face the same struggles I did. I tried so hard to help him change, until I realized I shouldn't.
The last 12 years have hardened and softened me to the dreams I wrote down for my imagined family. Years of watching children grow, will change what you see too.
I can stare down the flaws I've always looked for in my reflection. Standing in front of the mirror given to me by motherhood, I can finally see beauty.
Because my children are so much like me.
The love that lands on your heart the very instant the weight of your newborn is placed there—it heals you, if you let it.
Because that love leaves you no choice.
When those flaws dance in front of you on the wings of your child, you will see they are nothing less than exquisite.
It is the acceptance of those flaws in yourself that will give you the grace to love unconditionally.
You will finally understand that your eyes make her beautiful, because she thinks they're beautiful on you. You will remind her that those eyes come from the incredible women of generations before her, and she will be proud of them. She will know that it's so much more than what her eyes look like, and really about what she holds behind them.
You will be able to tell your son with truth, The day will come when you are always picked first, because you listen and you see everybody, and he will take comfort in knowing you understand. He will believe you, because he watches others seek comfort in your listening heart, and he will know how much this world needs him.
And you will catch your messy and flawed reflection in the mirror from time-to-time, and smile at what you see. You will finally understand the story you wrote for your perfect family is coming to life, and it's more beautiful than you could have imagined.
This essay is part of the Messy, Beautiful warrior Project — to learn more, CLICK HERE.