We took this series of photos of our little one way back when you had to print photos to see the results. And what results they were! She is wearing her favorite pj’s with her fuzzy pink slippers, she is 3 yrs old, and she is ready to kick butt! She is declaring, “I am here!” Yes you are. And I see you.
We were all this little girl at some point in time.
We’ve all had this moment. Whether it was fiercely in front of a camera, or privately in a room in front of a mirror. It’s in us, and up to all of us to see and appreciate it in each other.
Especially in our daughters.
Whether you’re a mother, or a sister, or an auntie, or a friend, you have seen this in a little girl you love. This sparkle, this joy, this spirit, this watch-out-world declaration. This here-ness. And if you’re a mother, or a sister, or an auntie, or friend you’ve also seen what the world can do to dim that light, to curb that joy, to dampen that spirit, and quiet that voice. It can happen right in front of us or out of our view, and when it does, it is up to us to be the keepers of these memories, these moments, so we can pull them out, hold them up and say, “Hey. You’re still in there. I see you. And I’m here.” until they find the strength to come out kicking again. And they will.
Believing in our daughters, sisters, friends.
It is not the easiest job that we have on this journey together as a tribe. It’s one of the hardest. Mostly because it requires us to take a look at ourselves. Our curbed joys, our quieted voices… and to find them again. The beauty of it is that we can do it together, side by side. We don’t have to have it all figured out before we sit beside, walk with, or listen to each other. We all have wisdom in experience, triumphs, and mistakes to share, and any mother, sister, auntie telling you she has it all figured out is delusional. We don’t. I don’t. But we don’t have to in order to be a few steps ahead, reaching back, taking a smaller, younger, less experienced hand in ours and walking it together.
So, to all of us mamas, sisters, aunties, and friends loving on the little girls kicking ass in fuzzy pink slippers, hold on to those pictures. They’ll need to be reflected back to them some day. And to those who are sitting beside and walking with those who are struggling, pull those pictures out and let them know that you see them in all there glory, every day. Even on the hard days.
And when they’re ready, we will also see them come out kicking!