Friday, November 18, 2011

Learning to Embrace the Quirks

We spend so much time thinking about how and what to teach our children, but it's the rarer occasion when we step back and think about what they can teach us. 

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.

BEE Beautiful You
Buzz on over to Bruna's to check out this new meme!


  1. often a person's "quirks" is what draws us to them in the first place. it certainly is a commone demoninator - we all have them!

  2. Wonderful post, Amanda! As always, poignant and thought-provoking writing.

  3. Funny how life is so simple when we're two and how quickly we change the way we see ourselves and the world as we grow. There is so much to learn from our little ones!

    I can't imagine you have a lop-sided smile. When I see photos of you, I see pretty, confident and beautiful all around. I'm pretty sure your readers see the same :))

  4. Where's the lop-sided smile?! I only see a beautiful person. Great post Amanda! I love this! And what a great reminder to also embrace my own quirks :)

  5. Love your writing and such important reminders! How can I cringe at my own photo when I have created such beautiful people, right? Thanks for a wonderful post!

  6. I don't think I ever fully learned to trust my body when I was pregnant with my kids. Until I went into labour, I was always checking for spotting. How crazy is that?

    Kids do teach us things. Sometimes when we don't realize it.
    Great post Amanda. Always love reading your words.

  7. @TracyThanks, Tracy, for the wonderful and positive feedback!

  8. @Bees With HoneyThat just goes to show that my "flaws" are mostly only visible to ME!

  9. @KiddothingsThanks, Germaine. I guess they're only "flaws" if we think of them as such.

  10. @Laura WatersSo true. And thank you so much for this wonderful comment!

  11. @LisaWell, good point, actually. I guess I really only trusted it in retrospect once she was safely out of me. Which isn't exactly the definition of trust. But I certainly learned the lesson.

  12. So beautifully written. Quirks are the best bit! You are beautiful and LIlah is a testament to that!

  13. I love this post! I think the quirks are the best part of all of us!

  14. Speaking of "beautiful," this post absolutely fits the bill. Thank you for the smile that begins at my heart.


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