Thursday, February 12, 2009

"You can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details"




All this talk of love and valentines day made me extra eager to spread a little love in my own home. I have had this old mirror for a long time and I decided last night to deface it with a affirmation so that each day when we walk by it we will look and start to believe it a little more. Learning to love or hate yrself comes from a habit place I think. I have always wanted a tiled mosaic ceiling in my bathroom that right above the shower says "good morning sunshine"
I have always thought that might be a lovely habit to the morning.

I try to talk about myself in positive terms around my sons.
It is hard to not scream out that I hate my body sometimes.
It is hard to not call myself fat and wretched, but I think if I let those words creep out and mingle in the air in this house I will have let my sons down.
I am trying to raise these boys in a gentle way.
I am trying to raise these boys to love women.
The reality of women.
I am raising these boys and arming them with love.
I think that at the end of the day my best gift to them will be love.
And how to unleash it to the world...

do you talk about body image to yr kids?
do you think about what you say about yr body?
Tell me things...

title post- Before Sunset 2004

28 comments:

Barchbo said...

I love this post. Your little men are so blessed to have you!

amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay said...

thanks babe. It was a hard post to write for being so small and such. xo

Kate Coveny Hood said...

SO important to teach our sons to appreciate women for more than physical perfection. And even more important to teach our daughters to expect the right kind of appreciation from men. Since my daughter was born, I have completely stopped complaining about my body (at least in front of her). When I tell her how wonderful she is, funny and smart are ranked right up there with pretty.

As far as I'm concerned, there will be NO fat jokes in my house!

cauloccoli said...

Thanks for writing about this so beautifully. I think mamas of boys often think about how to make their boys love women, but don't often think that this love starts with them - the mamas.

Momo Fali said...

I never talk about size. If my kids see me exercising, I tell them it's because it's good for me. For my heart, and for my mind. It is not because I want to wear smaller jeans (even though it so totally is).

susiej said...

Amy, what a great gift to yourself... and what an example for the boys.

nichole said...

Great thoughts, Amy.

The talk of bodies, types, differences is just starting in my house (our oldest son is 4yo). He didn't want to play with another girl on the playground because she "looked different." And I knew it was time.

Trying moments ahead, I am sure. ;)

Patois said...

I'm glad that you're teaching your sons. I spend as much time talking about bodies and body image and the harm that can be caused by thoughtless comments to my sons as I do to my daughter.

vincent said...

It is so strange that you wrote this today... My Bazaar magazine came yesterday... I love to look at the beautiful jewels/ads/such... Sienna looks through magazines for perfume samples to sniff!!! So last night we lie on the bed, looking and she was searching and said, "Oooh look at this lady Mommy!!!", and I said, "What, nin, do you think she is pretty?", and she said, "Not quite as beautiful as you Mommy!!!". Of course we were looking at a size like minus 7 model barely clothed. So I think I am doing okay with teaching her that beauty is a persons whole being, not the way they look or what size they wear... I myself am a "larger" woman, but I know I am still beautiful. You can get your hair/nails done, dress to the nines and wear all designer clothing and still lack... It has to be real truth of beauty within and the confidence that exudes from a woman who has it!!! My mother and I have daily spats about this, sad to say!!!

The Redheaded Lefty said...

You're doing a fine, fine job with your sons. The tile mosaic idea? Brilliant!

Kim said...

I absolutely love this post. I have one son and 2 daughters. I am trying really hard to teach them to be happy with how they are. He is learning to respect all women and to see the beauty in all women.
This parenting gig is so hard isn't it?!?

fruitlady said...

What we have tried to do, at which we don't always succeed, is to talk about people or describe people in a way that doesn't rely on color of skin or weight. My boys are 9 & 7 now and we are all a bunch of nudists. I've never wanted them to consider the body something to hide or be ashamed of. I suppose at some point if they start to be bothered by me stomping around naked (which I'm sure they will) I will start to cover up. But we all have days where we don't feel good about ourselves. Sometimes you have to acknowledge those feelings too, honor them and see them on their way.

hippo brigade said...

Here are some things I love:
Your new header.
Your sassy mirror.
Affirmations.
And teaching your boys to love the reality of women.

La Verte Domestique said...

You are beautiful... inside and out.

JessTrev said...

Ah, I think about it all the time cause I have a little almost 6yo girl. She knows we exercise to be healthy and live longer -- and I try to be careful about the messages we send with food and control and such. Ellyn Satter's written well about that stuff. She got a t-shirt from a good friend of mine that says "President Not Princess" - which she loves -- but you know what I hope the real message is for her?! "President AND Princess!" ;) Love yr post (and the mirror!). xo

Piper said...

You are doing such an incredible work in your sons lifes. not only are you teaching them to love, you're teaching them to love themselves. they are gaining self confidence and self esteem because of you.

You are raising sunnyside-uppers, which exactly what the world needs more of!


ps. you ARE the lovliest woman I know!

Robin ~ PENSIEVE said...

I have a teen daughter, teen son & a tween son and I'm very conscious about how my words can affect them. With intent, I've tried not to talk about weight issues; my daughter has a great self image and has actually told me features she likes about herself! I'm thankful. Interesting, though, I hadn't thought as much about body image where the boys are concerned....

I guess we mainly try to focus on the beauty inherent in people...because they're created in the image of God for goodness sakes! :)

Good thoughts.

Our Green Nest said...

What a beautiful post. Our babe is still so young but my Love stopped me whilst I was saying some stuff about my body the other night with our girl in the room and gently reminded me that we don't want to say things like that in front of our kids (as well as reminding me that what I was saying was untrue:). It was a great reminder, as was this post Amy! So thank you!

mary said...

"I am trying to raise these boys to love women. The reality of women."

Made my heart skip a beat. You are an amazing woman.

Mary Beth said...

It's hard. I have a 15 year old daughter and yes, I've made negative comments about my body in front of her. And she scolds me. I think she is very healthy about her own body image . . . I hope that lasts. And I try to be gentle with myself mostly and live my life without obsessing about my body . . .

maya said...

this is so beautiful. yes, we have to watch what we say about our bodies in front of our young men. my husband was raised with nfl players & coaches, so he's heard a million disrespectful things about women. he had to learn to have his own authentic relationships with all the women in his life. he gives that to his boys, & being with him has made me so beautiful in ways i wasn't. i'm not as kind to myself as i'd like, & have thought it's good that i've 3 boys & not girls. but it's the same, isn't it? same importance.

nkp said...

My husband was raised for the most part by his mother and grandmother. His father passed away at a very young age. I think this has made him a truly extraordinary man, being surrounded by women that is. He calls his grandmother every.single.day. and speaks to his mother throughout the day, all day long. I hope my sons don't take this example for granted and follow in their father's footsteps.

You, Amy, inspire me with every post, I can only imagine how much your sweet boys cherish their generous, smart mama.

Headless Mom said...

You ARE beautiful-in so many ways. I love that you want your boys to grow up with a healthy respect for women-their minds, bodies, and spirits. There are 2 little girls out there somewhere that are going to be so lucky to have you as a MIL.

We talk about staying healthy-eating right, exercising, but that every body is different. And that's ok!

Alexis said...

I worry about this a lot because I have three girls. I don't talk negatively about my body and I don't have fashion magazines lying around. I try to talk about health and nutrition instead of appearance.

Molly said...

this is a topic very close to my heart. it is sometimes hard to appreciate the reality of being a woman myself. trying to be a strong role model for my children does help me look beyond the mirror and love what i see, especially since i know they love what they see when they look at me.

jenB said...

It is important to teach our little boys and girls realistic images of what people look like in the world. All shapes and sizes and colours and bits and pieces and furry and not so.

I too try to keep the body hatred out of the air, for my daughter who is 5. I admit that I have it, but I try my bet to keep it to myself and at least pay lip service to it. Some days I am ok with looking at it, and she has seen my scars from surgeries and last week she said she loved my boobies which was so adorable, but i didn't even know what to say, i just said "thanks baby girl". I almost said, hope you don't have such big ones when you are older, but see! I am coming along.

It is a day by day struggle for so many of us. I will be 40 this year and I still hate my thighs? How have I not found the wisdom to not feel that way?

Sorry for hijacking your post. Perhaps I should write my own.

xo

kristin said...

all SO perfect!!!

i love your tile idea too.

XO
kristin at shutter sisters

truly blessed said...

this post brings tears to my eyes. thank you for raising your boys in this way. i have a house filled with girls (5) and it breaks my heart to hear some of the things they say about themselves. why is it so hard to love yourself as you are?

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