Pictures don’t help either. (Especially if it’s my hubby behind the camera.)
The face on the screen, in the mirror or in my head, is far from attractive.
But in the eyes of my kids, I am divine.
Their smile at the sight of me.
Their laughter as we play pranks at each other.
The way their eyes light up when I enter the room.
The way they reach out for me in a crowd, or pick me above every one else.
The way they walk past their dad or nanny looking through them searching for me.
They look at me even in my most horrifying version with such love, I could forget how scary I actually look.
My older one can be critical. You used to be much prettier, he says. His memory of his mom when he was little was much prettier.
If it’s his age or mine that has changed the version of my beauty is a question that we never will have an answer to.
But even him I catch staring, now and then, transfixed as I dance goofily or as I play with them foolishly. The toddler and pre-teen still in adoration of the one that gave birth to them. To them I still am the most beautiful person in the world, the irreplaceable world that brings joy just because I am there.
It doesn’t matter if I deserve it, or if I am a great mother.
My presence is all that they want.
To your child you are the world. You are joy. You are love.
The flaws, the scars, the freckles, they don’t matter. They simply don’t exist.
That’s what makes motherhood worth every sleepless night, every aching bone and every difficult day worth the pain.
In them, through their eyes, you become the most beautiful person that could ever be.