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Outside The Box: Deena D

Outside The Box: Deena D

Sometimes we get the role models we don’t know we need.
Like many women, I spent years making efforts to “fit in”, trying to please and be “liked.” When my daughter was born with a rare genetic condition, those aspirations shifted seismically. My child looks very different from others, but she also truly has no cares to give when it comes to what other people think. It’s possible this quality would have been part of her personality regardless of her appearance, but my hunch is that it is a necessary adaptation to being the object of points and stares since birth (and maybe just a smidge from being the only child of older parents!) What I know for certain is how much I have grown from her example. I now embrace the relief and joy that comes from being outside of the mainstream. For example, I know that the competitive parenting culture I view from the sidelines would not have brought out the best in me, but I am so lucky to know for a fact that being my daughter’s mother does. We are grateful for any healthy day, which is a perspective that cannot go hand in hand with comparisons and judgment. I hope to pay my child’s role-modeling forward: by accepting herself, she has helped me accept myself. And wouldn’t it be great if we all did the same?!

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