I had a weird experience today, somewhat of an eye-opener. I went to get my hair done (oh, but yes, I *am* a natural blonde, of course!) and the salon I go to is fairly chi-chi. The stylists are all perfect looking in their own way: this one has long blond hair and blue eyes and wears teeny Juicy shirts so her belly button ring shows on her perfectly flat tummy; this one has an up-do with perfectly placed highlights and wears a suit with heels, looking like the trendiest business woman; my stylist is the perfect punk rock princess. Black spiky hair, tons of black makeup, shirts that show off her many tattoos (and her perfect figure) without showing enough to be trampy in the slightest, knee-high black leather boots...you get the idea. All these women are perfect. I look at my styist and want to *be* her, she is just that cool. She is never shaken, never nervous, always so poised and collected and awesome.
So today, we started talking about our kids, whom we have talked about before. She works part time, gets to call her own shots about her hours, and her kid stays with her best friend during the day. Perfect. She told me today that her son was a preemie - born 2 months early and nearly died, because she developed eclampsyia. He was in the NICU for 2 full months, had serious apnea where every few hours he would stop breathing, and he refused to eat. She didn't know from day to day or minute to minute if he would live to see the next morning.
As she was telling me this, I could see her cool facade cracking a bit. She got a little teary as she told me how terrified she was for her baby's life (he is now 19 months old and just fine). Her voice waivered as she told me of her twice-daily visits to the hospital, and how she could only reach into the incubator and hold his hand - she couldn't even hold him. I told her I could *kinda* relate a *little* bit, since Princess was in the NICU for 5 days when she was born. It seemed like the lamest thing I had ever said, because although Princess was 3 weeks early, she still weighed 9 pounds 4 ounces at birth and after the first few hours, she was never in any real danger.
I am not sure of the exact lesson in this. I just think that I learned that even people who look perfect, who seem to have the perfect life, or people who you think you'd love to switch lives with - they may not be all you think they are. They may not really have it all. And we should all be grateful for what we have.