I think it was from Brene Brown that I heard or read something like this:
You look at your newborn baby and think, ‘She’s perfect.’ And yet each of us is imperfect from our very beginning. We are all born imperfect and will remain imperfect for the rest of our lives.
I look at my new baby, and want to think she’s perfect. She has my nose, long pianist’s fingers (and toes), dark grey eyes, and the most beautiful little ears. She makes a grumpy old man noise out of annoyance when she sneezes, and laughs in her sleep. And she really only cries when she’s hungry, wet, or naked (seriously, folks…I’ve never seen a baby be so pissed to get undressed).
But she’s not. I could list a dozen things that make her difficult, and I’m certain I will only add to that list as she grows up. She’s as imperfect as the rest of us, and that? IS BEAUTIFUL.
If she were perfect, I would worry constantly about ruining her – about messing up. I would fret over every decision being the “right” one, because perfection implies right and wrong. There would be some utopian vision of the baby, child, and woman she should be, always in peril because of my impending parenting mistakes.
My job as a parent isn’t to protect her perfection, guarding her from mistakes and pain. Instead, it’s to nurture her as a whole person, hopefully teaching her that her imperfections don’t diminish her worth. They make her real, accessible, and whole.
By the way…if you haven’t read Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, it’s life-changing. Honestly.