Dear Mak & Livy:
In 2007 I noticed something that has bothered me since. Over the last few weeks, it has gotten worse and I’m so very sad.
In little girls, I see such beauty, hope and promise. You are like shining stars, getting brighter and brighter by the day. However, this funky thing happens. I noticed it – with Mak – when she turned 10. The star begins to dim, which is crazy to me. It’s like I’m standing there watching a dying star.
The dimming I’m talking about is inner confidence. I saw the inside of my little girl – what once was uninhibited and strong suddenly begin to dim. Remember in the garden after that fateful moment when Adam and Eve decided to sin for the very first time? They suddenly noticed that they were naked and they became ashamed? It seems as though some kind of veil is lifted and girls realize this horrible reality: people are watching them – and most of them are not nice. They realize that everyone has something unkind to say. The worst part about the fact that people are watching them is that girls seem to care what these meanies think. And, UGH, it’s so maddening because it causes immense damage.
On at least seventy five occasions over the last three weeks I have said these words to you, Miss Mak: “Live for an audience of One.” Oh my goodness, when you block them all out, my sweet girl – that’s when the light will begin to shine brighter and brighter again. You’ll stop caring what the meanies think. Meanies sometimes act like friends – I think I have finally convinced you that they are not friends. Be nice to everyone, however, ignore mean comments. Someday, I pray you’ll call the meanies out for the mean things they say. Not in a mean way. Just ask this: “why do you say mean things like that?” I’d like to be there to hear the answer. Or the lack thereof.
Just yesterday you shared with me a dream that you have – one that I don’t think you’ve shared with anyone else. After you told me your dream, you said something like this: “oh, but I know that it’s impossible.”
I sat there stunned. Fuming. So incredibly angry I couldn’t even see straight. You knew it. I said nothing and just stared at you. You knew exactly what I was thinking. You began to back peddle. You began to back peddle because you knew what I was thinking by the way I just stared at you.
First I asked you if you really believe God. I guess I just didn’t understand how you could believe the God that we love and have such a defeatist attitude. In order to shock you, I told you that your thought process was from dark places. You did not like that much. You assured me that no way were your thoughts from that place.
And then I told you that you must just be lazy then. Because if you believe all things are possible with God, then you must just be afraid of working hard. The funny thing is that as I said it, I was laughing inside because that’s the furthest thing from the truth when it comes to you. I’ve never seen someone so committed to working hard – you never cut corners (ever).
Thankfully, the veil hasn’t been lifted from Livy yet. Now that I’ve seen the dimming first hand, I will be praying that it never happens to you, Lulu.
The way I see it as your mama, it is my responsibility to try to put an end to the madness. I plan to do everything I can to help you live by the words I’ve been screaming from the mountaintops “Live for an audience of One.”
I love you so much.