A couple of weeks ago, my daughter Brittany, gave me a book called “I’m Gonna Like Me” by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell because she knows I am seeking to embrace myself. It is actually a children’s book but it is quite fitting for what I am seeking. My daughters know that I love children’s books and we are really loving this one.
It is not only a fitting message for myself but for the little’s as well. When the little’s express to me that they want to be anything other than what God created them to be it hurts my heart….like when little man says he wishes his skin was the same as everyone in his family or when little lady say’s she wishes she had black straight hair like me instead of her blond curly hair… it hurts my heart because I want them to embrace and love who they are.
While I know it is normal and part of our human condition to want or desire other traits or looks, I do want them to embrace their beauty which is something I never learned how to do.
When little lady literally sobs because she didn’t get to be inside my tummy or little man cries because his other Mommy said something to him about taking him away from us, it not only breaks my heart each and every time but I am not always sure what to say to them. I do not have all the answers. While children are not born with a manual, raising your grandchildren definitely does not come with a manual.
I am not so naïve that I don’t know that some day they will question why we raised them and not their other Mommy. Some day they are going to want to know about their birth fathers and how do you explain to children about prison, one night stands and fathers that didn’t want to be a dad? They will have questions and we will have to have answers that won’t tear down who they are and where they have came from. As much as we can say they were wanted by us, will that be enough? Will our being here or wanting them be enough to lessen the pain that those that birthed them did not step up to the plate, let alone want them?
I know that some who are adopted question and seek out to know where they came from. While we did choose to take them in, it is still not the same as adoption. We did not pick them out and we were not seeking to be parents.
I do not want them to take what their birth parents did personal or to think they were some mistake. I want them to know that in spite of everything, we wanted them and that when the time came, we chose to be their parents. And I hope and pray with all of my heart that this will be enough for them.
For my little’s it is normal to them that while we are Grandpa & Grandma, we are mostly and foremost Daddy & Mommy to them. Their normal includes having a “other Mommy” that they see for a couple hours, once every 4-8 weeks and talk to on the phone.
We are a different family and while I am fine with being different, I don’t want my little’s for one second to think that different is bad or means they are less than anyone. The more they get out in to the world, the less we are able to protect them from the ignorance or cruelty of others.
A couple of weeks ago a little girl in little man’s class told him that he is going to hell because he doesn’t attend church. I asked him if he knows what hell is and he said, “No but it doesn’t sound good.”
That same girl told him yesterday that she isn’t sure if brown skinned people go to heaven either. I told him, “Apparently this little girl doesn’t know much about this because if she did she would know that going to hell or heaven has nothing to do with going to church or the color of our skin.” He responded with, “Nope, it’s about the color of our hearts.” That’s right little man, and the color of your heart is beautiful.
I want their love buckets to be so full that when they realize the truth about where they came from and how they came to be with us that they will view this knowledge with a fullness inside each of them that help them handle it and see it as their beautiful story instead of a negative thing.
I want to fill their love buckets so full right now that when the truths of life hits them or others are cruel, they do not crumble under the weight of it. I don’t want them to be susceptible to the germs of ignorance, hate or discrimination.
I have parented long enough to know that I cannot put them in a bubble and prevent them from ever feeling hurt. My prayer is that having a full bucket will keep the hurt from sticking.
Wouldn’t we have a different world if everyone knew they had value and worth and thus liked themselves? Wouldn’t it benefit all of us if all people embraced being different?
Wouldn’t it be great if the picture perfect ideal was each person looking and being their beautiful selves? For each of us to say I am beautiful like me?
I’m Gonna Like Me
by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell
I’m gonna like me when I jump out of bed, from my giant big toe to the braids on my head.
I’m gonna like me when I grin and I see the space in my mouth where two teeth used to be.
I’m gonna like me wearing flowers and plaid. I have my own style. I don’t follow some fad.
I’m gonna like me when I climb on and wave as the bus pulls away and I’m feeling so brave.
I’m gonna like me when I’m called on to stand. I know all my letters like the back of my hand.
I’m gonna like me when my answer is wrong, like thinking my ruler was ten inches long.
I’m gonna like me when I’m sharing my lunch cause just like bananas friends come in a bunch.
I’m gonna like me when I jump up so high. I’ll twist and I’ll stretch straight up to the sky.
I’m gonna like me when I don’t go so fast. Then they pick teams and I’m chosen last.
I’m gonna like me when I do the right thing and return what I found even when it’s a ring.
I’m gonna like me when I’m feeling strong. I walk with a smile, arm swinging, legs long.
I’m gonna like me when I sit with my mom and make a get well card for my sick friend Tom.
I’m gonna like me when I eat something new, even if Grandma makes octopus stew.
I’m gonna like me when I make a mistake and put out the candles on Dad’s birthday cake.
I’m gonna like me when I open the box and smile and say “Thanks” even though I got socks.
I’m gonna like me when I try a new task. I bring in a plate before I am asked.
I’m gonna like me when I clean in a flash and play with my brother and take out the trash.
I’m gonna like me when I cuddle up tight and know as I’m sleeping I’m safe and all right.
I’m gonna like me cause I’m loved and I know it, and liking myself is the best way to show it.
I’m gonna like me. I already do! But enough about me- How about you?
I can barely get through this story without crying because the desire of my heart is to truly say, “I like me.” and mean it. My hope is that each of us could say these words and not only believe them but with a smile on our faces.
Here’s to beautiful you(and me!)!
Until next time, love & hugs, Lori