Last night I made a promise to the girl in the mirror. It was the second time in my life that I've done this.
The first time was when she was in 5th grade or younger. I looked her squarely in the face and promised that she'd be beautiful one day, that she'd walk with confidence, that she'd succeed academically and professionally, and that she'd capture the hearts of innumerable men.
OK, so maybe that last thing was a little bold. But, still, she got the point. And whenever she'd have a bad day, I reminded her of our promise. The best was yet to come, and we knew it together.
And it did. I had a blast. We had a blast!
I can look back on my life and smile, recalling all the social events I've attended or organized, all the hobbies I've pursued and had fun with, all the academic hurdles I leaped through, and all the professional accomplishments I enjoyed. Interestingly, reflecting on all the fun I've had with my wardrobe during those phases is also a big part of my fond memories. But mostly, I look at the present and marvel at this amazing husband I have beside me, this intelligent little boy I am honored to call my son, and this sweet little girl I am flattered to call daughter.
And yet, this beautiful era of early motherhood brings with it physical exhaustion, isolation from friends, and a dying-to-self that is meant for my sanctity. Perhaps I should have realized earlier that this calls for another meeting with that girl in the mirror.
I hadn't been smiling at her as much, and I think it's because I've noticed her gray hairs and a few more wrinkles -- and because her sense of fashion isn't as up-to-the-moment as it used to be. But it's not because she isn't wonderful. It's because she's more wonderful than she's ever been. She's giving of herself every day to make this family live and breathe and have its being.
So last night at 11 PM, I made another promise to the girl I saw in the mirror. And when I walked up to her, she was ready, smiling and listening and poised for the good news. It was as if she was expecting it, deserving it, and could read my mind. And then I remembered that all three were true.
I promised to be her Best Friend, forever and always. That I would take care of her, uplift her, encourage her, smile at her, and nourish her body and mind with positivism, healthy food, and longer sleep. Gone, I promised, are the days of feeling sorry for her or over-analyzing her or saddling her with fears, judgements, or criticisms. Ahead of us, I promised, was a long lifetime of more fun than I've ever had (she was shocked!), good health, and happiness (which I've recently learned is a skill to acquire and refine from within, not something that comes upon us externally).
She was thrilled to hear it, and so was I. We laughed together for a moment. And then I saw a twinkle in her eye which told me to get on with it. So I returned to washing my huge pile of dishes in the sink but knew that everything was different; she had my back and I had hers. We are Best Friends, which we had always been and now forever will be!