Each stage in Lilah's development has come complete with its own lessons. From the moment she was conceived, this little being has had so much to teach me.
As she grew inside of me, the lessons were to have faith in what was meant to be and to trust my body. After experiencing a miscarriage in the first trimester of my first pregnancy just a few month before Lilah was conceived, this lesson was not an easy one, but it was so necessary.
During the newborn stage, I learned (quite abruptly) that it was no longer all about me. In fact, it was very much not about me. I learned to give every ounce of myself to another being and to be rewarded simply by the giving, and perhaps the occasional gummy smile.
When she started toddling, I learned to stay near, to keep her safe and protect her from harm, but also that even if I could catch her every time she fell, I probably shouldn't. I learned that falling down is not only inevitable, but also necessary for us to grow and change.
Now that she is deep in the throes of two, one of the lessons, as I see it, is to embrace the quirks. A two-year-old, even a shy one like mine, dances like no one is watching, lives in the moment, follows her impulses, says what is on her mind, and lets the quirks shine through, with no concerns about what others might think of her.
This is a quality I could really stand to absorb. Since it doesn't seem to happen simply through osmosis, it is a conscious decision I must make to embrace my own quirks. I used to curse my lop-sided smile whenever I saw a picture of myself. But now I do my best to squelch that little voice that tries to tell me I look dopey and opt for the loud, uninhibited two-year-old voice that says, "Who cares? I am happy right now."
My lop-sided smile is my authentic smile; the smile that is most connected to my two-year-old, living-in-the-moment, impulse-following, quirky self. Which makes it far more attractive than anything studied or posed.
And so I choose to receive with open arms the lesson that my tiny one is teaching me and embrace my quirks for what they are: the things that make me human, imperfect, likeable, interesting, and beautiful.
Buzz on over to Bruna's to check out this new meme!