As much as I am obsessed with memories, I have to admit that, throughout my life, when it came to anyone taking photos of myself, I resisted whenever possible. I'm not photogenic. I have wide hips, wide shoulders, big hands, sausage fingers, big wrists, big ankles and my chin fat abounds. My eyes are little and my face is naturally round. Combine all of these things with a short torso and big feet...I'm basically the epitome of someone who should never look good in any photo...ever.

Am I being too hard on myself?
Maybe I was at one point in my life. But now, I've simply accepted these things as facts.

When I became pregnant, I was suddenly forced to think of someone other than myself. Not that I didn't ever think of others, but once I found out I was on my way to becoming a Mommy, it was no longer a choice. It was nature. I couldn't not love that baby, and I hadn't ever even met him. At the time, I didn't even know if it was a him. I had no idea what that baby would become, who they would be or what they would look like...but I dreamed about those things. I planned for that baby and I had a million ideas as to what their life would be like, how they would look and who they would love. And then I found out that we were having a boy. A beautiful, curly brown haired, green eyed, little baby boy. At least, that's what I envisioned. He would be quiet and smart, one of the strong, silent types. He would have a subtle charm and a witty sense of humor. He would have his Daddy's hair, eyes and nose and my smile and big feet. 

Isn't it funny, the dreams we have for our children? Even if you don't have any children yet...take a moment to think about all of the things you want for your baby. Would they have your features? What qualities would you choose for them? They would be perfect. Right now, as you think of them and their little lives, in your mind and by your standards they would be perfect.

And then...those months of waiting, planning and dreaming come to an end and that perfect baby is born. And the little boy who grew inside of me, knowing full well the plans I had for him, stubbornly resisted all of my wishes. He was overdue, by a long shot. He was a good 2.5 pounds bigger than I had told him to be. His curly brown hair was a rich, fiery shade of red and those green eyes that were supposed to be like his Daddy's...they were bright blue and shaped like mine. His smile was his Daddy's, though. And the poor kid...he was born with my sausage fingers.

But even as I looked over every inch of him and noticed every one of his features, there was not one negative thought in my mind. I loved those sausage fingers. I was smitten with his red hair and those clear blue eyes were so pure, so innocent and so full of love.

He was perfect.

Two years later, that sweet, fat baby has grown and changed. He has proved that I had no idea the kind of kid I truly wanted. My son is loud, he is charming and he has a slapstick sense of humor. He is mechanically brilliant and loves tools. He is a guy's guy, drooling over fast cars and loud trucks. But he hates to be dirty and his fat little fingers can't be sticky for long before he starts to have a bit of a mental breakdown. This boy is nothing like I had planned. He is more. He is a million times more amazing than my jaded mind could have ever designed. I am in love with everything that makes him who he is. Especially his sausage fingers.

That got me can I love those sausage fingers so much and loathe my own?

First of all, sausage fingers don't really matter in a man's world as much as they do a woman's world...but that's not the point. The point is, I wouldn't change anything about him, and it would be heart breaking for me if he woke up one day hating himself for any reason. It would be devastating for me if he one day chose to permanently change his appearance, to erase what God had given him, what my husband and I passed along to him. It made me realize, like a slap in the face, that there was absolutely no reason for me to hate any part of myself. Because God made me. Because my parents' love for each other created the life I live and the body I have. And because of my husband and my son, who love me, unconditionally. They love me the way that I am, and neither of them would change any part of me, just as I wouldn't change any part of either of them.

These days, I'm much more confident in the body I have. I am still learning to love my fingers, along with a few other things. I've been trying very hard to not beat myself up over things that cannot be changed. No matter what, my face will always be round and my eyes will always be small. My feet will always be big and my hips will always be wide. I will always be un-photogenic. I will always have to take about 10 photos before I am satisfied. Now, as I look back on my life, I wish that I had accepted this long, long ago...or at least before my pregnancy. 

And here we are, back to the picture at the top. That is one of my few photos of myself pregnant with my son. I don't even have any photos of me in the hospital room after he was born. Part of that is because we were alone, no family around, and only a handful of friends nearby...and my husband is not exactly a photographer. Pictures weren't on our minds...we were so wrapped up in the moment, so excited to finally see our chunky little boy. But then one of our friends stopped by the night after he was born and she offered to take a photo, and I turned her down. I almost immediately regretted that, but I didn't say a word. I insisted that I did not need to remember myself in that moment, swollen and tired, wearing one of my husband's shirts and starting to feel the discomfort from a 3rd degree tear.  

I will forever regret that decision. I will forever wish that I had more photos of me with my newborn. But I can tell you that because of that regret, I will never turn down another photo op with my son ever again. And with the challenge ahead of me, I am making a promise to myself and to you that I will not turn down any photos simply because my hips will look big or my chin fat will distract. I promise that I will allow memories to happen, photos to be taken and fun to be had. And I promise that I will not regret any of it.

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 22, 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

2 Responses to “Perfect.”

  1. Very inspiring. I'm Melissa Sanchez's sister. She posted a link of your blog on FB and i have to admit I'm already addicted :) I love your photography! You make the features of my already handsome nephew and his family pop. Keep up the good work and i wish you luck on your 365 project. I'll be following.

    1. Thank you, thank you!! I'm glad you're here! This is an exciting project for me, and you're encouragement is so very appreciated! (and I can always use an extra bit of luck) :)