Thank you Mom. I am beautiful because you are.

Dear Mom,

It isn’t mother’s day.  At least not that I’m aware of…. *checks calendar*  Nope.  I’m good.  But I was just so deeply moved by some lyrics that I found posted via Kate Harding’s recent post that I had to take a moment to say thank you.

The lyrics  come from an artist who is new to me and are from a recent song she wrote.  Ani Difranco says of this new song: “Present/Infant,” about her new daughter, “[It’s] about one of the many things I’ve learned since becoming a mom — and that’s self-love. I remember when she first came out, I looked at my daughter and I said ‘Oh, no — she looks like me!’ Then I thought — ‘What a horrible thing to say about someone who’s only just arrived.’ ” 

You can watch Ani Difranco performing “Present/Infant” at the WSJ Cafe, or just check out the lyrics below. 

lately i’ve been glaring into mirrors 
picking myself apart 
you’d think at my age i’d have thought 
of something better to do 
than making insecurity into a full-time job 
making insecurity into art 
and i fear my life will be over 
and i will have never lived unfettered 
always glaring into mirrors 
mad i don’t look better

but now here is this tiny baby 
and they say she looks just like me 
and she is smiling at me 
with that present infant glee 
and yes i will defend 
to the ends of the earth 
her perfect right to be

so i’m beginning to see some problems 
with the ongoing work of my mind 
and i’ve got myself a new mantra 
it says: “don’t forget to have a good time” 
don’t let the sellers of stuff power enough 
to rob you of your grace 
love is all over the place

there’s nothing wrong with your face 
love is all over the place 
there’s nothing wrong with your face

lately i’ve been glaring into mirrors 
picking myself apart

To that beautiful body, that wonderful woman that gave me life and this body.  That beautiful woman who gave me the jaunty smile and twinkling eyes and that same manner of swinging my hair.  For that lovely set of cellulite that will always grace the curve of my rear and thighs, beautiful in its own way.  Also for the soft pooch of tummy that would be there were I size 10 or 40. For the beautiful porcelain skin that will always flirt with translucency.  For that amazingly beautiful and “cute” me that you created:

Thank you Mom!  I am beautiful because you are.

I know it is normal in everyday discourse to talk about those pesky parts of our bodies that make us crazy, that we “hate” about ourselves.  Those troubling thighs, that “pouch” of tummy, that cellulite, whatever it may be. But please remember that all those wonderful parts of me, come from everything I love about you.  When people tell me I look just like you to them I smile and say “Thanks!  My mom is cute and beautiful”  and I mean it.  There’s nothing wrong with any part of your body.  I need to remember that this means there is nothing wrong with mine either.  That’s a work in progress, but I’m learning.

Love,

Your daughter who still has so much to learn about loving her own body too before bringing little lives of her own into this crazy world.

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