This past weekend we were preparing to go to Boo at the Zoo as we do each year. I’ve had the same super woman costume since before motherhood and I wear it every year because it saves me money, and it’s easy. This year for this event, I wasn’t feeling it so I planned to go sans costume.
As we were heading out the door my boys asked if I would wear my super woman costume and after a few rounds of, “PLEEEEASE!?!??” I obliged.
I hurried upstairs to throw it on and my son excitedly followed close behind. Standing in the mirror as I adjusted and modified, I wasn’t thrilled with my reflection. We didn’t have time for anything else though so I just shrugged with unwilling acceptance and said out loud, “I look ridiculous.”
Just then I caught my son staring up at me and his precious look of awe and wonder shifted to devastation and heartbreak.
He stared at me and said, “Why would you say you look ridiculous!? You look beautiful.”
As I looked at his wide-eyed little face anticipating my response, I remembered.
I remembered feeling that exact same sadness as I watched my own beautiful mom destroy herself in the mirror. I remembered feeling that exact same heartbreak and confusion as she made similar statements all too often.
To me, she was perfect. So why would this perfect, beautiful, amazing woman say such awful things about herself? It didn’t make any sense.
My son felt the same.
So I quickly smiled and said, “Oh I’m just kidding. It’s great! You’re right!! Let’s go!!” But I knew I hurt his heart.
Our kids don’t see anything we see. They don’t see the little bulge you try to cover or the stretch marks you hate. They don’t see that this year, your costume doesn’t fit as well and you’ve got bags under your eyes. They don’t see the flaws you see and the reasons you’re not perfect.
They don’t think you look ridiculous. They think you look magical.
So moms, today, on Halloween, and every single day, let’s do better. Let’s stop breaking our kids’ hearts with the lies we see and let’s start trying to believe the truth they see in us.
You don’t look ridiculous. You’re beautiful.
A version of this post originally appeared on Rachael Boley’s Facebook Page, Three Boys and a Mom. Published with permission.