“When I see your face, there’s not a thing that I would change
Because you’re amazing just the way you are….
If perfect’s what you’re looking for then just stay the same.” ~Bruno Mars

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Twenty-one is a magic age.

I remember.

At twenty-one I thought I was awkward and too thin and my hair never curled right. My skin was too pale, I told myself.

At 21 I didn’t know I was beautiful the way I know it looking back from nearly 40. Looking back. That beautiful girl whose self-confidence wasn’t as tall as her high heels. What I wouldn’t give for her jean size.

“When I see your face, there’s not a thing that I would change…”

The radio croons lullabies for teenagers too insecure to know that they will never have the hips or lips or curves or skin that they have now. And one day they will out grow all that unwrinkled life and wake up to three children and a towel thrown down the center of the bed where the baby threw up at 3 am.

They will need a love song then more than they ever could have imagined while cruising around town in their dad’s hand me down.

So while Bruno croons promises to ten thousand smitten teens, I whisper to my tiny wisp of a daughter under cover of her dreams – remember to ask him how the song ends.

Those boys who come and serenade and sweep you up in the rock and rhythm of romance remember to ask out loud just exactly what he means.

Ask him–

— will you sing me a love song when I’m not eighteen anymore? When I’m not 21?

Will you tell me I’m beautiful when this flat belly has curved to cup three babies?

Will you still want to rub my feet when they’ve walked miles rocking kids?

Will you tell me I’m beautiful when these arms that used to shimmy the tank tops are softer, fuller, wobblier than they were that first night I wrapped them around your neck?

Fifteen years and will you still sing me a love song on the nights the baby’s just thrown up down my front and my hair is limp and as tired as the rest of me?

When make up is what my daughter is playing with and not what I spent hours applying, when I’m wearing the glasses with the busted earpiece – will you tell me I’m beautiful then?

Will you love my scars?

Will you kiss my broken heart, my unbeautiful knee all busted up from five stitches and clumsy feet?

Will you see perfect in the reflection of gap-toothed kids when you look in my eyes?

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And baby…

Will I have raised you brave enough to look deep into his eyes and tell him, “there’s not a thing that I would change, because I’m amazing just the way I am.”

 

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