Depressed? Go talk to your 10-year old.

sofie the bat
While at play, Sofie asked me to shoot her upside down with her favorite dolls. She loves being a bat.

If you are a mother going through an intense phase of self-doubt (like I am right now), try looking at your little girl (or boy) a little while longer if you can. Take in every angle of her face, her eyes, the soft slope of her nose. Smell her scalp and savor the pungent odor of fermented coconut. You’ll have an idea what you looked like before, when you were younger and more pure and you’ll instantly feel better.

This is definitely one of the most important benefits of having children: they bring you back to earth when you’d rather be in heaven singing with the angels.

I’d looked in the mirror a few times when I was 10 and physically saw myself. But I didn’t know how I’d really looked like in front of others. How did they see me? How did I make them feel?

Whenever I’m with my little girl Sofie, I get remarks from people about her natural beauty. Little girls are so unaware of how beautiful they truly are, not just physically, but in every way. Each movement is graceful, unaffected, free of burdens. I don’t need to go to some distant mountain forest to see a beautiful bird; every day at home, I’m bird-watching my little girl.

There is a spark of life in Sofie that hasn’t been dimmed by large-scale disappointment and failure. Her only tampo right now is that I still don’t know her favorite Alan Walker songs by heart the way she does.

sofie drawings

Sofie is overflowing with talent, creativity and smarts. Her illustrations of her favorite people and animated characters are still quite simple and crude, but she gets the facial expressions down very well. She once told us that she was supposed to be class president but settled on being vice-president instead so she could “relax a little.” She is funny like this.

While she’s quiet when she’s with strangers, she talks non-stop whenever she’s with me. She’s especially smitten with my impression of Lily Cruz in the local TV show Wildflower and thinks I’m really funny (she’s probably the only person in the world who thinks I’m funny). Everything I do, everything I look at on the computer is a big deal for her. Her adoration makes me want to believe in myself again. She is an angel, and because she is, I guess I am too. All I need to do now is to believe I am.

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