Thursday, 6 August 2015

Be comfortable in your skin ...

We nearly bought you your first clothes today. It was a yellow baby suit with a rainbow on it. It's kind of unisex so you’d be able to wear it whether you're a boy or a girl and your mum was all over it because it was retro and she reckoned she could see me having worn something like that. I never did but it was pretty cool, halfway between a superhero suit and the cutest baby suit ever.

We would have bought you it but the tills weren't working. Maybe we'll go back for it tomorrow. Actually, we'll definitely go back tomorrow. If they don't have it then so be it. I think sometimes, when you see things like that, that you really want, you should get them. Otherwise you spend the rest of your time, possibly even the rest of your life, wondering.

I don't believe in that. I think, if you want something enough, and the right reasons stand behind it, you should get it. By tomorrow it might have gone, or things might have happened. If opportunity presents itself you should take it. 

This evening we went to my friend's for tea. Now amongst other bizarre twists of fate (I met him under a table when we were seven years old and we've been friends ever since. Your mum and his wife were at the same hen do and wedding but didn't know each other yet) his little boy, Joseph, has taken a shine to me and your mum. 

In particular he is really drawn to her hair. He doesn't quite know what to make of it. Last time we were there he grabbed it in handfuls. This time he wanted to rub his chin in it but didn't quite have the courage to actually do it. I don't know what it is about your mum's hair. But I get it too. I've told her many times about it. Especially when she wears it down. You'll see what I mean soon. 

And once she said to me she was going to tie it back. I think we were going to one of my family dos. And she said it was a bit wild and she didn't want to feel like she stood out. 

And this, strangely, is your lesson for today. When I was little I wanted to be tall. Then I wanted to be stocky. In fact, I could list you a hundred things I thought I might be or I wanted to be.

I'm not tall or stocky, though when I was young I grew more quickly than anyone else. I'm not fat either. And I think you can spend your whole life being self-critical and wondering about everything that you're not. And by doing that you miss everything that you are.

It is good to be self-critical. It is good to be able to see what it is you do wrong and how you'd like to improve. But sometimes it is more important to see what you do right. What you're good at. What makes you you. Don't spend too much time criticising yourself or other people. Most of the time, the things you worry about yourself, other people never notice anyway. 

When I was little I always had my haircut in a typical 70s bowl cut. As I grew a bit older I wanted a different hairstyle and started brushing it back. I remember spending hours trying to flatten one particularly stubborn tuft of hair which just wouldn't do as it was told. I was sure everyone would see it and laugh at me but no one even blinked an eye at it. This thing that I thought stood out on my head and waved a flag and shouted, "Look at me!" was apparently invisible to everyone else. 

Don't ever worry so much about what other people think or what other people say or even whether you look like they think you should. Don't worry at all. Be comfortable in your own skin. Be happy and confident and proud of who you are. And if something troubles you, talk to me or your mum or both of us and put it right before it ever becomes a problem. 

I'll see you soon in your seventies yellow baby suit. And I'll take a picture of you and your mum and I'll make her wear her hair down and you'll know exactly what I mean.