THE BLOG

A Role Model of Imperfection

10/27/2011 07:28 pm ET | Updated Dec 27, 2011

When I was a child, I adored every bit of my mother, from her kinky blonde hair to her bumpy thighs. Not the most flattering description, right? On the contrary -- I truly thought those parts of my mom were lovable, wonderful and perfect! Let me explain.

Now that I am a mom myself, I find myself with choices everyday. Clean the kitchen floor or go to the pool? Work out or play a game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos? Spend an hour cooking dinner or swing on a swing alongside my daughter?

The answers are obvious, right? They are to me. I've come to the conclusion that cooking and cleaning is a waste of my kids' childhood. And while before guests arrive, I do often engage in furious rounds of throw-the-toys-in-the-basket and silently curse the results of my "let it go" attitude, I know that I keep a clean-enough house, a healthy, if non-gourmet kitchen, and a whole lot of savored moments with my daughters.

I learned all this from the mom I grew up with. These days, her hair is smooth and well-coifed. I know this is the way she prefers it, but I am grateful that when I was a kid and wanted her to swim with me, she was okay with letting the pool water and humidity cause her some frizz. Likewise, I vividly recall the days she dedicated to taking me and my brother to baseball games and children's museums, but don't remember a bit whether our house was clean or messy on any given day. Neither did it ever cross my mind how her thighs compared to those of other moms. I do, however, remember thinking that the bumps in her thighs were so soft and hoping that my legs would be just like hers when I grew up.

These days, cellulite on my thighs is no longer my fondest wish. Yet, knowing that I loved everything about my mom -- and that she loved us enough not to let bad hair days and imperfectly toned legs keep her from sharing in the things we loved -- still makes me want to be like her in every important way.