Sunday, August 22, 2010
Last night, I was working on my computer in Taylor's room while he was about to go to sleep. Without warning, Taylor hopped up out of bed, came over and gently touched me on the shoulder. In his sweetest, rather high-pitched/angelic--in his, "This is me being authentic and meaningful" voice, he said to me, "Mama bee--u--ti-ful! Mama pre--tt-tie!" I was so caught off guard because he delivered those lines with such conviction and warmth--to me. I looked up at my dear 26 year old son and said, "No, Taylor, I'm overweight. Mama's old and I don't look good. Honey, I'm not pretty." He just stared at me. My words bounced off of him as if he had a protective coating the words could not penetrate. "This does not compute, " was what he might have spoken back to me if he had articulated what he felt. I, on the other hand, was determined to prove him wrong. Within about 8 seconds all of my massive judgements about my physical self came flaming up and hung suspended in my throat. "You're wrong. You're retarded. What do you know about beauty and who's pretty and what the world expects from us?" These thoughts of mine screamed and raged, but they didn't make it out of my mouth. Taylor was not convinced. But, he had set something in motion. Grapple. Grapple Grapple with.
Who is the judge? Who do you, who do I assign as THE judge that decides who is beautiful and who is pretty--- Or who is whatever.... There must be some body, some one, some thing to which we have all given our power because Lord knows we spend enough time, money, worry, exercise, surgery, media, therapy trying our best to be....beautiful.
Don't we? Are am I wrong? And with two little bitty sentences this precious living human being touches me and says, "Mama beautiful." AND I ARGUED WITH HIM! And made him wrong---so that I could, so that I could....what??? Be so right about being all wrong about how much I buy into judgements about physical beauty? Let me see now.....he's "retarded" and I'm so darn smart....Something's not right here because he sees beauty and I'm trying to convince him that no he does not see beauty. After all, what on earth does this fellow know? Does his vote count? I mean as much as yours and mine? Because I've seen Elle and GQ.
I mean....I know what the rules are. Right?
Stop. Push pause.
What if we allowed ourselves to bask and bathe in the love that others have for us---with all of our seeming imperfections and flaws. What if we did not treat ourselves so brutally and harshly? (Am I alone in this or are there others of you out there who beat up on yourselves pretty regularly---like hourly?)
I can honestly say that without exception, I have never ever seen Taylor judge any person----not even one person---based on physical appearance. We have been in physical therapy with severe burn victims, quadriplegics, men with no limbs, all sorts of disfigurements, dirty hair, women with beards, acne, scars, obesity, anorexics---and not even once has Taylor winced, made a face, looked away, made a joke, or compared himself or others to that person. Not once. What he does repond to is love---and being accepted and being welcomed and being acknowledged for being in the room or at the table or right in front of you.
Taylor is right.
What he sees in people who love him is beauty.
Why is that so hard to accept?
Love is beautiful.
Did a rocket scientist have to figure that out?
Taylor is waiting for the rest of us to catch up and catch on.
I want to know what he knows.