February 26, 2014

2 Kinds of Perfect. ~ Jenifer DeMattia

Two Kinds of Perfect

“There are two kinds of perfect: The one you can never achieve, and the other, by just being yourself.”

~ Lauren King

It’s around 3:30am and I am not asleep. I think I sort of slept over the crib while my six-month-old held onto my finger with a death grip. I didn’t want to disturb him because he was finally sleeping.

When I get tired and frustrated, I try to remember that he is the better version of me.

“Make him feel safe.” I think to myself.

I was the same way for my mother when I was a baby. She always told me that one day I would get my payback. I thought it was so funny that my first-born was an awesome sleeper. But with the second, my payback has come.

I remember having extreme anxiety as a child. From what I can recall it started with wetting the bed. I fought sleep because I was so terrified to once again wake up soaking wet. I couldn’t control it. I dreaded the walk into my parent’s room. I can still see them sleeping in the dark as I debated which one was going to feel the slight shake from my small hand waking them to help me change my sheets.

 Just when it seemed like I got it under control, my parents separated and a whole new set of emotional issues emerged. As a kid, I was shy and extremely sensitive. It affected me growing up and in my first years of marriage. For some reason, I didn’t allow my true self to come out. She was silenced.

When I finally found my voice, I had a child of my own. My insecurities and fears collided into a mix of: “I don’t want to screw this up” and “Oh my God, I am screwing this up.”

I always say, and still believe, that I’m glad things happened the way they did, but in hindsight it could have been so much better. If only the “me” now could talk to the “me” then.

I do wonder what kinds of struggles my own children will have as they grow. I would love to believe they will be strong, confident men who are perfect in every way but I doubt that will be the case. Every time I meet people whom I think completely have it together, I always come to learn that they have overcome their own struggles to be the people they are today.

At first, thinking about all of this makes me scared for my boys. In the next room there is a little boy wearing underwear to bed for the first time instead of a pull-up. The thing is, I never thought I was struggling when I was little. I was just living my life.

When we have difficulties, we deal with them, overcome them, and continue on. And one day my kids will do the same. In fact, they’re doing it right now and don’t even know it. And I’m still doing it. And that is growth.

Most things we do, we do a little differently the next time. If we decide to grow a garden, we may put the seeds further apart the second time around. Regardless, there’s still growth. So while I’m having these thoughts, I’ll go ahead and put it in writing so they have a permanent place in this world.

Boys. I am not sorry for screwing it up. I will only be sorry if one day you are not able to recognize that it’s the little screw-ups that just may be what makes you perfect.

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Editorial Assistant: Brandie Smith/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Courtesy of Author.

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