Since his family currently lives with us, we see him everyday. On his birthday, there was a knock on my bedroom door about 7:00 in the morning. I said, "Just a minute--I have to finish dressing." It was about three minutes until I opened the door--and there he was: in a football stance to show off the wonderful uniform. I couldn't help but wonder if he'd been in that stance the whole three minutes!
I ooh-ed and aaah-ed about every aspect of the uniform: the helmet, the shirt, the pants, the black patches on his cheeks, the number on the jersey. For several minutes we admired the pieces and the whole. "You look great!" I told him. He stood for a moment looking down at himself through the face guard and then looked up at me: "I really, really like myself," he said.
Here he is at the end of the day--still dancing because he is so excited.
Ever since, Gabe said that to me, I have thought about the power of that statement: I really, really like myself. I have been thinking what a wonderful world it would be if, every day, every one of us could put on a costume--football uniform, princess dress, superhero cape--look in the mirror, and say to ourselves: "I really, really like myself." Maybe, eventually, we wouldn't have to wear the costumes and could see what wonderful people we are without the extra outfit. We get beat up each day by the stresses and arrows of life. How great if we could start again each next day with that affirmation: I really, really like myself. I think the whole world would be a better place and we'd all be happier for it.