My One Wish

It seems just yesterday I held my first grandchild in my arms as a newborn. it wasn’t yesterday and they are growing up so fast. Every day I see new ways they are maturing and it’s left me a bit melancholy knowing one day they will no longer see themselves as perfect just as they are.

queen elizabeth
Her Queen Elizabeth look

 

Becoming a mother, and now grandmother, taught me many things the first was how comfortable children are in their own skin. I don’t have any recollection of ever feeling that way.

pouty face
We took many pictures this day of my grandson trying to perfect a pout-y face but he kept cracking himself up.

Digital cameras, and cell phones with built in cameras, have brought home to me once again just how comfortable children are with themselves.

show off
I had just given her the shirt she was wearing made by cutting down a mans shirt. Once she put the new shirt on she had to model if for us, this was just one pose of many that afternoon.

They regularly want to put on a show andย  have their pictures taken just so they can see how cute or silly they look.

goofing
It’s a good thing children lose their baby teeth when they do. Can you picture a teen losing teeth? Many would hide at home afraid to be seen.

A small child never runs from a camera because they don’t like how they look in photographs, instead the sillier they look the better they like it.

goofy girl
We have no clue other than she wanted to get a laugh. She put this outfit together and asked to have her picture taken.

 

My one wish for my grandchildren would be to hold on to that image of themselves as perfect just as they are, avoiding the knee jerk reaction to harshly judge themselves.

king and queen
My King and Queen of Nature. We strung daisies for a crown and brother couldn’t be left out. This is still one of their favorite pictures.

I know it’s unrealistic to hope children could grow up in today’s world without ever becoming so self-conscience that they dislike how they look in photos but just think what a wonderful world this could be if all people could accept and love themselves just as they are.

What is one wish you would like to see come true?

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22 thoughts on “My One Wish

  1. I think your wish would be one I could also wish for.

    when I read
    “how comfortable children are in their own skin. I donโ€™t have any recollection of ever feeling that way.”…I had to realize, I too never had such a recollection for myself. Such a shame. A lot of my “feeling that way”, was simply being the youngest, and a couple of the older sisters always felt a need to make derogatory or demeaning comments re me/my self. Very sad. I do understand (now) it was a lack of confidence in their “selves” which likely initiated this, but….it was/is an attitude which carried on in to their adult hood.

    I am glad for your grandchildren, and all who have this joy and confidence in their selves.

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    1. I am sorry to hear you join me in not remembering that feeling of being perfect for even a short period in your life. Because of how I was raised I tried to instill a rule in my home that home was where you felt safe from the harshness of the outside world. I had dreamed of having this peaceful home where my children never heard criticism or a rude word. I wish I could say I succeeded but sadly you can’t impose your expectations on every family member.

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      1. sigh…again, thank you. All in all, I made out okay. At some point I truly came to understand how miserable most who were like that were making themselves. I was about thirteen when I made a conscious and concerted effort to search for “alternative” role models. I had always been somewhat searching, but about thirteen, I can honestly recall my search. For a week or two I considered many options. It was a smallish place I lived in at the time, and so I had to be careful, for example, I couldn’t go up to someone I admired or had influence and say “could you sort of coach me”, as well, it would have made life rough where I was living etc.. That was when, as a start I began reading through all the non fiction biorgraphies/life stories in the library. Somehow I go to more serious fiction (Chaim Potok), and I took a lot of one liners from them. It ended with me being even more serious and studious than I was, but that is not such a bad thing..

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        1. Now all those biographies you read makes sense to me. I did much of the same but for me I took to studying people I saw and met and questioning why they were as they were. When I became a mother I combined the parenting of two women as my role model and built on that.

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  2. so here is a bit of a smile on this…

    way back when, before I was married or even had met the person I married….

    I was dating a fellow, who took me to a party with him.
    So, at this party, I noticed (hard not to), he barely spoke with me…Being rather analytical of all things, I took note, maybe he was shy…no, he chatted away with many others..including other young women. Barely knowing only one or two, and having nothing to chat with them much about, after a couple of hours of sort of being a loose ends while he chatted away…I asked him to take me home..

    so, in the car outside my home we sat and chatted…
    and I asked him why he had not spent any time chatting with me
    he very confidently replied (as if this was a good thing)
    “oh…I did not want to talk with you, I only took you to the party (this is someone I had been “dating”, mind you),
    so I could be seen with you. You are so beautiful, I wanted them all to know I could date such a beautiful girl. ”

    now, I have to tell you, all my growing up and young adult yrs, I yearned desperately to be thought beautiful, and to have boys/young men clamor for my company because they thought I was beautiful, and yes, maybe to have girls/young women yearn to be me, because they thought I was beautiful…

    I was very lucky in high school to have an English teacher who talked frequently about life. She talked to us that while it was okay to date / marry someone who admired our looks, we should make certain to marry someone we could talk to/have conversations with. She assured us, life would be much better etc etc. Lucky I listened to her talks..

    so, how did the said evening end?

    Well, I did take a few seconds to thoroughly ENJOY that finally I had arrived at such a glorious place in my life that I was thought so beautiful it was thought magnificent to be in my “company”.

    sure I did..grin.

    Then I just knew this was so not what I wanted in a relationship, etc…especially long term. I also knew I wanted him to know I thought this was such a bad reason/attitude to only want to date a young woman for her looks and to refuse to “talk to her” etc..

    so, I enjoyed it for a bit, and then I told him

    “That is a very cavalier attitude”.

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    1. You were very wise to send that young man packing. I’m sure the fleeting feeling of what being told you were beautiful felt like but no one should keep a man around just so they can make themselves feel more important by being seen with you.

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      1. Thank you. I have never told anyone about it, and if I had, many would have thought I was nuts (as he was quite the “catch”)…But I never had a moments hesitation or doubt (then or since). Can you believe, he went on to ask me to marry him (that same time), because “my parents really like you”….”NO THEY REALLY LIKE YOU”…

        When I replied, yes I liked them too (seemed like lovely folks, but ), but that had nothing much to do with him and I long term, he truly seemed flummoxed.
        go figure…

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      2. oh, and that yearning in my high school yrs to be “thought beautiful”, never happened..sigh,
        but I can recall sitting there looking at him after he had made this rather calm “statement” about “my looks etc”,
        and thinking “sheesh…what a swiz….It finally happens, and not in such a good way”…

        just goes to show, that sometimes what is wished / yearned for, is not the best…grin

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        1. I had a slightly different experience. I met and dated a boy my senior year in high school who treated me very well but every day the first words he would say were “hello beautiful”. At first it bothered me because I didn’t feel beautiful slowly I looked forward to hearing those words and by the end I wanted to find a way to create that feeling I got from hearing his words on my own. So it was at 18 that I decided I wanted to create a new inner vision of myself.

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  3. If everyone could remain that way, I think we’d do away with wars. I don’t remember feeling self conscious until I was a teen, but that just comes with the territory. But I was lucky. My mother tried hard to make sure that was true–not by complimenting us (my sisters and I) all of the time, in fact compliments were not common, good behavior/achievements were just expected, She made sure that we talked respectfully to each other. She said that we didn’t have to like each other, but we had to treat each other with respect. And when there was a person outside of the family who was mean to us, she just said consider the source and move on.

    It will be interesting to see how things evolve in the picture taking world. With the ability to take a picture available to most people all of the time, and pictures/selfies being taken all of the time, I wonder if the younger generation will stop worrying about what they look like in pictures or if they already have. But the innocence and self worth issues are still there. Maybe that’s just a part of human nature that comes with maturing. And I think being female has something to do with that. Whether that pressure comes from within or from without or a combination is the question. Oh my, such a complex issue. Too complex to explore adequately in a comment.

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    1. I agree, Live and Learn. I can’t imagine anyone who was content with themselves ever lashing out at another for they way they looked or how they lived. We could have a world free of wars, prejudice and racism to mention just a few. It would be as close to Utopia as we could possibly envision.

      I didn’t think about the craze of selfies but now that you mention it I don’t see it changing the self image of those I know who snap and share selfies. Those who are insecure still seem to remain insecure but try to hide it by over sharing. What spurred me to write this post in the first place was a combination of the grandchildren asking me to take their pictures while at the same time hearing the oldest granddaughter want to wear make up like mom (who wears so much makeup because she’s trying to hide her looks) and I worry about the messages she’s receiving.

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  4. My own thoughts on children fall along similar lines. I believe when children are born they are totally perfect. TOTALLY. Even if they are disabled in some way they are perfect. Just the way God made them. A clean slate for life experiences to imprint on. And, of course, life being what it is, it imprints the good and the not so good on them. The hope is that they imprint with enough good to withstand the not-so-good when it comes, because it will come. That is what life is. That is what parents and grandparents job is – imprint enough good to help them through the rest of life. That is a tall order because life sometimes starts on the bad stuff too soon and life can be very long, BUT, those perfect little beings are just soft clay early in life so the good stuff kind of has a head start on the bad stuff.

    Your grand kids seems to have an abundance of good stuff going for them. Keep it up. That cup is never full. Oh, and by the way, you are SO lucky. I have no grandchildren and I consider myself a grandmother in waiting … and waiting … and waiting. I accept the fact it may never happen, but I can’t help but wish it would.

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    1. I agree with you,Elaine. Every child is perfect, just as they should be when they are born. Yesterday I ran into a little boy and his parents who lives two blocks over and got me thinking about the subject you brought up. This little boy has Down’s Syndrome yet he is so outgoing he has made an impression on every person he touches. The woman I was with at the time told me that this little boy, who is driven to school, insists his mother stop so he can say hello to each and every child waiting for the bus. The kids he talks to love him and look forward to seeing him. So while this little boy is “disabled” he is sending out messages of how we should treat others every moment of his existence and I hope each person he touches will hold on to the lessons they learn from him.

      My grandchildren are lucky to have the parents and lives they have but it doesn’t come without challenges as well. I do hope they can hold on to the good and not be adversely affected by the rest. I hope you have your grandchildren one day, but if you don’t I think your longing will bring a child into your life who will fill that role. ๐Ÿ™‚ My grandparents, while having grandchildren and great-grandchildren, also were adopted by a little girl from their church. The girl’s parents had to relocate for work taking her a great distance from her biological grandparents. The girl attached herself to my grandparents and they filled the role she needed while gaining another grandchild.

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  5. Hi Lois! Wow! I’ve never thought about the whole selfie thing in the same way as you presented here with your grandchildren. You are so right, the little ones don’t care what they look like, sometimes the crazier the better. They just appreciate the attention. That would certainly create a different world if we all came from the same place. Of course, it doesn’t take long and then they start “manufacturing” looks that are more acceptable to their peers. But before that there is surely an innocence that most of us adults have lost. And as far as my wishes….I’m going to join you and say it would be awesome if we all learned to love and accept ourselves just as we are. ~Kathy

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    1. Kathy, it’s those manufactured looks that make me appreciate this stage so much. I would love to be able to prevent the insecurities before they happen but can only hope to minimize them when they happen. I love digital photography because I can snap all the pictures they want me too and let them have fun laughing over the images without costing a dine.

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  6. I just saved a quote that totally moved me. “If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, How different our ideals of beauty would be”. That says it all for me. We are just too judgmental of each other when we should see that each is an expression of that universal source that created everything. Each is perfect as they are. I stopped being self conscious of having my photo taken and only hesitate a bit for safety reasons now. I’m a lumpy old woman and I like myself just fine. I can play just like the kids and enjoy it. I no longer care what others think. Old age is that childhood that some of us missed. It’s marvelous. Your grandchildren are so lucky you are in their lives, but I’ve told you that before.

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    1. Thank you, I’m going to save that quote. I’m on a new venture right now to accept myself and stop looking at the imperfections. I’m in that group that hides from the camera and have had my kids complain that one day their children will want to look back and have pictures of me. I was listening to a brief excerpt from Christiane Northup’s latest book Goddesses Never Age and have set the intention to accept more of myself and enjoy life more. I had a friend who used to say that on her 50th birthday she was going to get her nose pierced and her kids, if uncomfortable could say senility had set in. She didn’t get her nose pierced but I was thinking how sad that she’s held back on something she wants to do because of how it would appear to others. So my new intention is to life life as if I were a child and not think about how it looks to anyone else. It might be a lesson for the little ones but it might be a whole lot of fun for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Good for you, Lois. I have reverted to not giving a darn and wearing purple hats and funny shirts. Don’t know how many days we have but I’m going to have fun with every one of them. Today is a do nothing day. Eating some junk food and watching a mystery and reading. Kids are gone for a week so I’m going to play all by myself. Maybe I’ll get some rockin music on and dance. I do that in stores sometimes when there is good music. My daughter thinks I’m CUTE. ๐Ÿ™‚ At least she’s not embarrassed by me. Now I take pictures of myself to document the changes. It’s an interesting phenomena. Have lots of FUN!

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        1. Dancing in the stores, I’m going to have to give that a try. ๐Ÿ™‚ You are very fortunate to have children who accept you just as you are. Me, mine are split. In private both would go along and join me in being goofy but in public I could easily embarrass my oldest son.

          Enjoy having the house to yourself, you need a break!

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          1. It’s raining here too and in addition to getting caught up on some household chores I’ve already got a book picked out to curl up with shortly. ๐Ÿ™‚

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