I take back every time I used the word "ugly" or "fat" or "stupid" when describing or thinking about myself.
I take back all of the times that I looked at myself in the mirror and saw anything but a smart, driven, beautiful person.
I'm so sorry for thinking that my legs were too big, or my hair was too frizzy, or my voice was too grating. I apologize for cringing at the way I look in pictures or wishing I could be smarter, faster, funnier or cooler.
It must have broken your heart to hear me say those things or to know that I was thinking them. It must have made you want to cry. Because I am a mom now, too, and I know that if my perfect little creature -- my little mini-me -- ever looked at herself and saw the flaws first rather than the incredible features that make her so unique and so gosh darn beautiful, I'd be inconsolable.
I'm quite literally half of you.
You helped shape my character and my self-image and my outlook on life. To call myself ugly is to call you ugly. To call myself fat is to call you fat. To call myself stupid is to call you stupid. I couldn't dream of doing or thinking that -- you are gorgeous and strong and funny and you inspire me every day -- so what gives me the right to say it about myself?
I want my daughter to know that she, too, is half of me, and I'm beautiful. And strong. And funny. And smart. So she's all of those things. As was her grandmother. And her great-grandmother. And the generations of people who came before her.
Mom, I love you and my belated "thank you" gift for all that you have done for me is to promise to pay it forward to my daughter. I can't wait to see who she becomes, and while I know she'll face challenges in her life, I hope she always knows that she comes from some incredible women.
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