Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Keeping That Confidence...

It's no secret that I worry about my daughter...constantly worrying, about her health, her happiness, her safety, and her self worth. I worry about her self worth a lot. How do I teach her to be brave and strong when people say mean things? How do I teach her to feel confident, even when people are staring at the things that make her different?



My introverted self likes to go unnoticed, no eyes on me...I would rather hover on the sidelines. But not my little M. Not only does everyone notice her, but she enjoys that everyone notices her. She is fine being the center of attention, and right now she doesn't always realize that they are not enthralled with how cute she is...they are noticing her missing ear and her hearing aid. Sometimes they are looking at her with pity, sometimes they are just staring (never mind those people who feel the need to say something!).


Those people are so focused on what makes her different that they are missing something...her beautiful smile, her perfect brown eyes, and the fact that even though one ear is smaller than her other one and they are different...they are still beautiful, and so is she.


Little M? She rocks it. She walks into a room, and she doesn't care who stares. She is there to enjoy herself, and right now, she doesn't need the approval of anyone else to do that. Maybe she knows that sometimes people stare at her or comment, and maybe she doesn't. Maybe she just doesn't care right now. Sometimes, the mama bear in me has to come out, and sometimes it's best to ignore people. I don't have it all figured out yet, and maybe I never will, but I am trying to learn from my little M. She is a natural at this...rockin' her differences, and I am learning to be. Learning to just enjoy myself and my little M. I feel the stares, still. I see the pointing, and I see the looks. And it makes me hurt for my little M.


One day she will notice that some are looking at her differently, and she will want to know why.
I have no idea what I will say. Because the problem is not little M, the problem is people who should know better. Those people won't change, but I can. And I can learn to have the confidence that little M has now, so I can be there to help her when her's falters. I can teach her to celebrate her differences. I can teach her that different is still perfectly beautiful, and to treat others who are different with respect and kindness.
I'm learning, slowly but surely...and little M is a great teacher.


1 comment:

ZoeB said...

Sometimes people's manners are overwhelmed by their curiosity. And children, like our pets, are very attuned to our silent reactions. Little M's Uncle has insight on this issue. My personal experience is that being seriously introverted is not fun, and can be lonely and dependent. By training myself to wonder "What is the worst that can happen? Will it kill me?" I have almost conquered! For me, this decision meant survival.

Now with her "Bionic Ear", Miss M's personality will get even bigger, but also more tuned in to those she loves.

Most people aren't mean, but she can learn that those who are, are pitiful. I would even bet a mean person would gladly give up an ear to learn to be happy and nice.

At some point, Miss M will realize how proud her friends and family are of her, and that her differences make her very unique. And then those curious questions can be deflected by the suggestion they are asking the wrong person, that if they really need to know, Miss M can speak for herself! My guess..... those questions will turn out to be not so important after all!

Love and admiration, ZoeB