I had this moment.
I was putting Everett to bed. I was alone for the evening, with Stevie out of town for work. We had just finished a tumultuous bath time experience. Someone was very, very tired. Okay, two someones were very very tired, but only one of us could rightfully wail about it.
I sat down in Everett's room, in my little second-hand glider chair, nursing him in silence for what seemed like a long time. He slowly calmed down, drifted into a drowsy lull, and finally, oh so finally, fell asleep in my arms.
A sigh of relief. Success. My glass of wine was awaiting.
But his room was so cozy and so warm, I decided to linger for just a moment longer than usual. I was finally on my own time, and I wanted to take in this little bit of quiet bliss. To breathe. I looked around at this little baby haven we had created. I looked at his sweet bedding, already gently worn in by his raucous sleep behavior. I looked at his books, beautiful stories all carefully curated by treasured friends and family. I looked at the pictures on the wall, all items of grand sentiment to me and to Stevie. This was a lovely, sweet space. Something that took time and effort to create. I loved this moment, this moment to enjoy all the pieces of my son's special room.
I stood up carefully, sure not jostle him too much, and lifted his head into my chest. He murmured a few indistinguishable "wah-ma-ra-ma-wa"s and rustled around a bit, eyes closed, finally opening his mouth widely. And then.
He let out the loudest, milkiest, manliest, most bellowing burp a human baby could possibly summon. I mean loud. Right in my face. I mean like a half an inch from my mouth.
It was a big boy burp. It was like a sumo wrestler burp.
Hooowwwwww did my child just create that noise? I could practically hear an echo! Oh how I wish someone were here to experience this with me! Stevie would have lost it. I was having trouble holding back my laughter, but I didn't want to shake too much and waken him.
I calmly laid my baby boy down in his crib and silently chuckled to myself. What an absolute character I have given birth to. What a riot this boy is. What joy!
As I was witholding the verbal glee, I caught a glance of myself in Everett's bedroom mirror. And for this moment, I felt very very beautiful. Not beautiful because someone told me so, and not beautiful because I was trying to convince myself that I needed to believe it. Just beautiful, in this moment, in this mothering role that has taken me so long to figure out, in this season of life that has stumped me in a thousand ways. But letting all those maniac pressures go, and laughing at my baby son's gigantic burp in his darkly-lit room, I felt this grace of motherhood wash over me so gently, so greatly, and I felt a new kind of beauty. A beauty in the moment and a beauty in myself. I felt a new kind of appreciation for me, for what I have created, fostered, loved, and now, just now, was able to enjoy. It was the kind of beautiful that you don't apologize for. That you don't create some self-deprecating resistance to. It was about time for me to feel beautiful, for my own sake. It's not anyone else's job to convince me of what is mine.
It was a moment of sheer simplicity, yet I felt the impact in the deepest part of my abdomen. Ironically, exactly where my son had occupied for 9 months. I soaked the moment in, smiled to myself, and said a quick prayer of thanks.
As a woman, I shouldn't find these moments so fleeting. I should do a better job of appreciating me and loving me and openly allowing these moments where beauty surprises me with it's easy presence.
What I'm saying is that it shouldn't be a rare occurrence.
And I wanted to take the time to share this little nugget. Because, as women, we can spend a lot of time facilitating our external beauty, but when was the last time you actually, deep down in your bones, felt beautiful? Like, really really relaxed in your own beautiful self? It shouldn't be hard to remember a time like that, but... it's kind of hard, isn't it?
Take a moment for you today. Take as long as you need. Moments are hard to come by, because they are expensive, they cost us time with others and doing other things. But I guarantee that you are worth your own investment. Take your moment and relax really good into it and allow yourself to focus on this truth:
I am so beautiful.
I am lovely and I am strong and I am worthy and I am able.
I don't have to strive for my beauty because I just am.
And my beauty manifests in everything I hold dear.
I am rooted and I am winged, prime for my flight.
I am easily convinced of this truth.
I am because I say I am.
Yes, I am getting a little mushy on you today. But it's really up to you to follow through with the mush. What could it possibly hurt?