Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Just Be You | A Life Lesson Learned

Almost a decade ago I was a much different person. I cared a lot about labels, and making sure I didn't ever leave my house without makeup on, or my hair done. When kids came into the picture, I cared slightly less about how I looked and more about how they looked. Jothan always had to have his hair coiffed just so. His clothes were always clean and ironed and his outfits always included a matching pair of sandals or shoes. He was styling to say the lease.

Then Emm came along. I felt pretty much the same way about this new baby as I did her older brother. I bought her adorable little outfits with the cutest little shoes. She wore headbands and hair clips, and surprisingly, while I thought I would be -that- mom who always had a bow in her hair, or her hair up in cute little pig tails, or fancy hair dos, I am happy to say that I never had that desire when it came to her. Instead, her hair was cut short into little bobs since the time she had enough hair to do so. Around 6 months of age, I realized that she really didn't need shoes to match every outfit, instead I came to the conclusion that since it was summer and I would much rather see her naked piggies and be able to kiss and munch on them all day instead of stuffing them into adorable sandals. The sandals? I would never remember what they looked like, but if I kissed on stinky chubby baby toes all day, they would become ingrained into my mind and into my soul.

Somehow, they did. They still are. If I close my eyes and breath deeply enough I can still smell those little summer baby feet. I can feel their squishy baby softness on my lips, and I remember them.

Fast forward to today:

Somewhere between the years, I realized that letting my kids just be who they are, letting them choose what they want to wear would be a much better reflection of who I am as a mother, and what I mean to them as my children. I didn't need to run the perfect show. Somewhere along the line when I decided that perfection meant something completely different than I thought it did, I let go.

Then I got Camilla.

See? There was a lesson I needed to learn. She has solidified it's teachings to me. She has her own mind, her own heart, her own passions (just like her big brother and sister) and she has taught me to let those things blossom and bloom in her, and in turn, in her siblings.

She likes to wear what she likes to wear and I am so happy to oblige.

Now? Well, now my kids can be found wearing 3 shirts to school (layered, just like Jothan did today...weird but he loves it and feels 'cool'). Now? Emms can be found wearing funky tee shirts and skirts, and leggings and boots of all differing colors and varieties and she looks adorable. She loves it and it inspires her to become a 'fashion designer' some day. How can I crush that dream ever? For Camilla, it is apparently backward Curious George panties and her black boots, half a pair of pajamas, topped off with upside down sunglasses. Who am I to judge?

I am not, and I won't. Ever.

Because, what it really comes down to are photos like these captured forever, and the moments when they want to leave the house like that, and I let them, because they are beautiful inside and that is all that matters.

Take their advice.

Just be you.

Besides, who on Earth could resist those knobby knees? (Be still my heart.)

**Get geeky: All photos shot on a Nikon N80 with a 50mm 1.4 lens at f1.4 Kodak Portra 400 Film. Processed at Walgreen's One Hour Photo**


moosh in indy. said...

As long as Jothan isn't popping his collars we're good. :)

Nikki Martinez said...

I love this. Soooo my life! 1st kid, 2nd kid...3rd, "oh just throw what u want on!" ;))

Arianne said...

She reminds me of my cam, backwards panties and all. :)

Emily said...

You are the perfect mom for those kids. They will have dreams and more dreams and you will be their biggest cheerleader. I gave up the whole outfit thing long ago, though I do put my foot down if they want to wear shorts in 30-degree weather. We at least through on some leggings, but who cares if they color coordinate or not? ;)

P.S. My kids have worn pj's to Walmart. Yes, I'm *that* mom.

gina @ Birth Mother Baskets said...

Love this post!!!

Amy said...

She reminds me of my Haylee, who likes to wear her swimsuit in mid winter running around the pole in our basement . . . these strong spirits are here to teach us so much.
love you Kim!