December 22, 2020
By Mallory Brown
In the past month, my daughter Annie Kate has gained awareness of her hands. These two strange appendages with 10 more appendages that can wiggle, scrunch up, wave, and feel. Due to teething, her fists and fingers are constantly in her mouth, which makes for quite a messy situation of drool around here. Her tiny, dimpled hands are objects of fascination and exploration, to be sure. I am sure many of you can relate to the fascination that is watching a baby figure out something on his or her own. The first time they smile, laugh, roll over, grasp a toy – everything they do seems so monumental and exciting both for them and for those watching.
All of this makes me think about the lives of us as adults and how little celebrating we do for ourselves and for one another. While it is often more natural to celebrate one another, it is harder to celebrate one’s self. The inner critic is the toughest critic, at least for me. I do not often celebrate myself for the tasks I have accomplished or the good things I have done or for just being me. Instead, I look for ways to change the faults I see or to correct every perceived misstep. I also tend to avoid self-love, finding it too luxurious and silly for someone like myself. So, why can’t I celebrate myself? Just as Annie Kate lights up with a smile when she sees herself in the mirror, I too can smile when I see myself. Just as she laughs at the silliest of charades put on by her parents, I too can find more reasons to laugh. Just as she surprises herself when she rolls over, I too can surprise myself by what I can do. Just as she grasps a new toy or marvels at her hands, I too can marvel at myself for having made it through another day without pulling my hair out.
Additionally, I need to take the time to celebrate others for being their marvelous selves! It is easy to forget to say thank you or to take the time to cheer on someone for the wonderful work they are doing. I am guilty of taking folks for granted and forget that everyone, no matter their personality type, needs a little encouragement once in a while. Can’t we all celebrate one another a little more? Not only for tasks and skills but just for being the human God created each one to be. So, as I watch my daughter marvel at her hands, touching her fingers together, using them to tug on her ears or soothe her sore gums, I am reminded of my own hands and the hands of those around me. Celebrate the small things and the big things you do with your hands every day. Be like Annie Kate and marvel at them! And always, celebrate yourself, your True Self, and those around you, their True Selves, for just being who they are in this world.