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There’s a video of my wedding. My mom’s friend, an amateur videographer, recorded it. On it, he asks my mom how I look. She looks at the camera and says, “great.” Her friend Bob says, “You can do better than that.” My mom pauses, bagel midway to her mouth, and smiles. “Beautiful. Just Beautiful.”

I think that was one of the few times in my life my mother commented on my looks. Since my dad died when I was a few months shy of six it’s pretty safe to say I didn’t get a lot of positive reinforcement about my physical appearance. I was just musing about this the other day.

My little one, who just donated her hair again, was getting off the bus. I couldn’t stop myself. “There’s my beautiful girl,” I exclaimed, barely containing my pride. Soon after her sister got home from school. Big sis also had a haircut. Her hair was blown straight. She was dressed up in a nice pair of pants and a cute top. Again, pride oozed out of me. “Look at my big girl! She’s so gorgeous!”

I’m not sure why my generation is so much more effusive than past generations. I can’t tell you why I can’t control myself when it comes to my kids and why my mother barely said anything. I know she’s proud of me. I know she thought I was a cute kid. I just wish I heard it a few more times over my life.

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