Self-Deprecating or Self-Conscious?
Anyone who’s met me knows that my humor has a tendency to be quite self-deprecating. It’s partly because I don’t take myself very seriously, and partly because I know that if I make fun of myself, it won’t bother me when other people do. I was never “cool” in school, so maybe it stems back to those years of my life, who knows. I’m not a therapist nor do I believe I have some deep-rooted issue that causes me to laugh at myself for being 13 feet tall. I try to find humor in everything, myself included. That being said, I’ve decided I need to make sure my daughters see it as humor and not as low self-esteem. Where do I find the line between not taking myself too seriously and putting myself down?
No matter what I may be thinking or how I’m feeling, I make a point to never “shame” myself in front of my daughters. Especially not about my shape or looks. I don’t want them ever thinking that’s where their value comes from. Are they stunningly beautiful girls? Absolutely. (I’m not a biased mother at all). But they are SO much more than that. Adelina has the most amazing courage sometimes. If she thinks someone is being bullied (whether it’s on TV or in person) she starts roaring like a lion at the offender to scare them away. Of course on the other hand she’s afraid of fuzzies, but maybe she knows something about them that we don’t. Perhaps one day she’ll win the Nobel Prize for discovering that all of the fuzzies on the ground have been slowly killing us all.
And Vileya, my God that girl. She is by far the most persistent human being I’ve ever met. If you tell her no, she doesn’t whine or cry. She simply does not accept no as an answer. If I tell her to stop playing with the curtains and carry her over the baby gate and into a different room, she’ll simply walk to the gate, find a way to climb over it and get right back to those curtains.
THOSE are the things they will be defined by. Their courage, perseverance, strength, kindness, intelligence and faith. Their beauty will go beyond their looks. And they, too, will laugh at themselves and not take life too seriously. If someone pokes fun of Lina’s mullet, I want her to nickname herself “Billy Ray” and be able to laugh with them at how silly it is. If someone laughs at how Leya walks like a cowboy, I want her to throw on some spurs and laugh along.
I want them to know that their bodies are built a certain way to make them great at specific things, and that everyone’s abilities differ. Same with their minds. They may understand things or think differently than everyone, but that’s because God gives everyone a different purpose. We spend so much time these days (mainly thanks to social media) comparing every aspect of our lives to others. I may see a picture of a 5’4″, 115 pound girl on Facebook and wish that I was petite, but guess what? I would never be able to do the things I can do now with that stature…and she’s capable of things that I could never do! I can reach the top of the kitchen cabinets and she can have a ton of legroom during a flight.
Yes, my personality can be self-deprecating at times, and maybe I was made with thick skin to help me with my career in law enforcement. Other people are wonderful, positive rays of sunshine because that’s what helps them with their career or life in general. I mean, can you imagine me as a kindergarten teacher? “Little Joey, if you get that snotty nose near me again, I’m going to punt you through the window,” probably wouldn’t go over very well during a parent-teacher conference.
My point is that we are all created for our very own, specific purpose, and that is what I will raise my children to believe. No matter how you’re built or how you think, be thankful for the things that you’re capable of. And keep in mind that it’s perfectly fine to laugh at yourself for not being capable of everything.
Lina and Leya will know that they were put here for their own unique purpose. Maybe they’re in the 98th percentile for height because they’re going to accomplish amazing tall-girl things! Like perhaps designing an Amazonian clothing line so all of our pants can stop fitting like capris. A tall mom can dream.