I knew I was never a great beauty. I was pleasant to look at but not stunning. As a teenager and a young adult I had problems with my skin. That made me painfully self conscious and self aware. Looking at my reflection in the morning Id pray that no more spots would appear during the day. In a time when you looked at your face less, Id hate to think what Id be like now with selfies and social media.
As I grew older I blossomed. Again, not a great beauty but I was striking with a good figure. I could turn heads, get wolf whistled at,be admired. Looking back I think part of my appeal was I never expected the attention. I never truly believed anyone would be interested in me. I might have appeared confident with good legs in tartan hot pants or a tiny lipsy dress but I wasn’t. Underneath a bold exterior I was terribly self conscious picking fault in everything. Never seeing the good parts I feel sorry for that girl now.
You see I never remember being told I was pretty, or beautiful or even looked nice. It just wasn’t said. Thats not to say that my parents aren’t good kind people. They are the best its just showing emotion was hard. My Fathers parents had him late in life and it was a very religious Irish family. They never hugged, or laughed or had fun at home. It was a cold house. My mum spoke of going there when she was courting my Dad and nobody speaking just sat in chairs. Awkwardness hanging in the air. My Dad loved his mother he never wanted for anything but there was a lack of warmth, tenderness and emotion. Your younger years are fundamentally the making of your older self. And so my Dad for all of his amazing qualities does find it difficult to show affection. He finds it hard to say those words. I love you. We know we are loved though we understand.
My mums childhood was warmer more laughter but again lacking in emotion. It was a different time. They were a good, working class family. They had routine and structure. Town on a Saturday, roast and church on a Sunday. No expectation for a girl to go to University it was out to work as soon as you left school. My mum I know felt loved but touching, hugging, kissing it just wasn’t shown. She is getting better with age. The Grandkids are constantly saying I love you and asking for cuddles she’s learning. My sister and myself are very tactile perhaps too much sometimes 😉 and I often wonder if thats the reason. And so what we were never princesses or told we were beautiful. It just wasnt said then. Did it effect me? No not really. Have I had hours of therapy and counseling delving back into my past trying to find answers. No. It was what it was. And Im just fine.
So now I just change the narrative. Break that cycle. My girls are beautiful. Of course Im biase like any mother but they are. They have somehow managed to inherit all the best parts of my husband and I. There is a Roald Dahl quote which states that if you are good, and have good thoughts, they will shine from your face like sun beams. We have that print in our house hung upstairs. Because being a good person, making someone smile, being aware of the impact of your words is far more important than how you look.
But I do love to hug them, squeeze them tell they everyday I love them. Compliment when they look good. Prop them up when they feel not so good. I love the bones of my children and could quite happily bottle their scent and wear it everyday. Holding them, inhaling the scent of their hair evokes a love, an emotion so so deep its hard to describe. A mothers love.
And as I grow older my looks are fading. My wolf whistling days are behind me. Hot pants are gone “hold you in” pants are now my thing. I see the subtle changes in my face and my body. The laughter lines, wrinkles and grey hair. And Im ok with that. I have laughed hard and deserve every one of those lines. Age doesn’t scare me. Its the passage of time.
My girls are blossoming beginning that journey. My job is to guide them, advise them, try to steer them on the right path ensuring there tool bag is fully equipped. They will make mistakes of course, there will be tears. But its almost time to pass that gauntlet and Im ok with that Im proud x
Once again thank you for reading. When a topic pops into my head I write. Then post before I loose my confidence. Any comments are always appreciated. Thank you x
One response to “Passing the gauntlet”
My upbringing was similar, my parents were raised in homes with either little affection bordering on coldness. It was post war and a different time. I loved Flynn, kisses and cuddles from being a baby. However I’m the only girl but I wasn’t a princess I don’t like that personally. However my mum always told me I have the best features of her and my dad. I don’t think I’m amazing to look at but very pretty and I have a lovely smile. However I always thought and still do that you are stunning, I see men looking maybe it’s your blonde hair or your blue eyes, your smile or personality that shines through. Don’t underestimate yourself. I’m trying to hold back time but I’m comfortable with myself and I’m never going to be my former skinny self. I’m ok with that, I love nice food too much!! Your girls are beautiful and all different too. Don’t under estimate your beauty that shines out xx
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