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While the bond I have with my daughter is priceless, it was having a boy that taught me about self-love.

You see I love my daughter every ounce as much as my sons, but as a woman, I know what difficulties she will probably face growing up today as a girl. Having the chance to raise a girl and help her create a world full of even more equality for women is a privilege.

But my sons? I don’t have those same issues at play, and also any of my own personal issues that are related to being a woman or a girl aren’t placed on them. The bond is more simple than that with my daughter.

One night I lay awake staring at a chubby-faced baby boy. I think about all the ways I’m not the perfect mom.

All the ways I have and will let him down. All the choices I must make and whether they are the right ones.

But there is one thing I know.

There is one thing I can and will do. It is love him. I can love him fiercely and without limits. With such intensity, it is exquisite and almost painful. 

Holding so much joy inside it almost bursts.

This is what I learn from being his mom. This amount of love, and how to finally feel this love for not just a romantic partner, or even my child. But for myself.

It is only through my children that I see my true self. The self that is worthy of unconditional love. The self that makes mistakes, but is still beautiful. The self that isn’t just worthy of love, but IS love. 

For that fierce love I hold for him? He was the one who brought it into being, just as I brought him into being. Because just as I love him with every cell of my body, he loves me in return.

He gives me the best gift in allowing me to mother him. In allowing me to mother myself through feeling this love and turning it inward. To heal all the wounds that were left by the men before him. 

He does what a man can not. He does what only the purity of a tiny boy can do. To guide me through this symbiosis of love between us that reopens, cleanses and sears those old tattered and scarred wounds, and leaves nothing but light in their place. 

This light is unending. This light is blinding but gentle. This light is mine, and this light is his.

We can change the world this little man and me. If we can teach each other this love… How do we not teach it to others?

Having a boy helped me learn true self- love. What would the world be like if we could all find a level of self-love (and love for others) even remotely close to this?

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What Having a Boy Taught Me About Self-Love