Four extremely different children.
Four children whose mirrors constantly show a reflection of who their mother is from four different viewpoints.
I am a better person because of those reflections that shoot back at me through their bright eyes, tear stained cheeks, air fist pumps, or the shrugging of shoulders.
In other words, I can tell within seconds whether I have been nominated for Mother of the Moment or whether my children are interested in becoming wards of the state.
I find it strange that when children are born, parents aren’t given a manual to help raise them. But when you open the overpriced blender you had to have on your over the top wedding registry, you are strongly suggested to read the 10 page instruction manual so that you can blend appropriately!
I believe that God, however, gives children eyes that are seared with mirrors immediately upon entering the world. At least my four children were born with them. And I would be remiss to say that at my worst mom moment, I wanted to pluck those mirrors right out. Why? Because there is pure brutal honesty staring me right between the eyes and looking right into the depths of my soul.
My children make me a better person. Why? Because at the end of the day, I want to be better for them. The only way is to take a hard, honest look at what their reflections are saying. But I know that I can do hard things.
Even when I am lacking the energy to keep going.
Even when my plans for a healthy, organic dinner turn into serving boycotted Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
Even when I continue to serve up a dose of insert foot into my mouth and swallow versus building them up, like I had planned to do that very morning after reading Brene Brown’s latest book.
Occasionally I will look into my kids’ eyes and almost hear their mirrors asking me, “Do you see what I see?”
I see you as being the best server of ice cold milk in my princess sippie cup. Nobody serves it better.
I see you as sometimes being more consumed with your phone than wanting to play Chutes n’ Ladders.
I see you as the bath time enforcer, the best giver of bear hugs, and as an animated reader of ‘Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild’.
I see that you are happiest when Daddy makes you laugh, so I try really hard to make you laugh and often ask, “Mommy, Am I making you laugh?”
I see you as wanting to bring order to our house and my life, but all I want to do is read one more book, sing one more song, stay up a little later, or have you help more often in my preschool class. I want to be with you as much as possible.
I see you as my mom. And, I love you. – Sam
I see you as perfect. I want to be perfect like you. Everyone tells me that I am just like you. And I just don’t want to let you down.
I see you lose your cool after dinner when you are tired. I don’t understand it, so I bring you my papers to show you my grades and I see you realize that you screwed up. I see you shake your head.
I see you as fun and creative. I would stay home and read, bake, draw, paint, and scrapbook with you if I could.
I see you as out of shape. I see you as saying that your health is important, so I just don’t understand why you continue to struggle with drinking soda. You beat cancer, why can’t you stop drinking something as simple as soda? I want you to lose weight for you, but also for me. I hope that’s ok. I don’t want to hurt your feelings.
I see you as my mom. And, I love you. – Emily
I see you as a mom who likes to have fun. You understand my love of play so you often take me to the indoor trampoline park or to the movies for buttered popcorn. You will even try to keep up with me by shooting hoops.
I see you as a mom who is passionate about sports and I think it’s cool that you know all the names of the Sports Center anchors and the U of A basketball players. It’s actually really cool.
I see you as getting frustrated with me more than the girls. I see you scratching your head and questioning why I have to work harder at school than the girls. And I don’t understand why either.
I see you as two different moms sometimes. One that really wants to build me up and one that wants to shake me by the shoulders, but I know that you love me. I see you as wanting to be the better mom. And I want you to be more like her, too.
I see you as making the best cupcakes in town. And I love when my friends ask for me to bring cupcakes to school. I brag about you and I am proud of you.
I see you as my mom. And, I love you. – Ben
I see you as fiercely loyal to dad. I think that is pretty cool, because you both are better people because of each other. I watch you both very closely.
I see you as hard on me. I think you are very protective of me and want me to succeed. But right now, I just want to be a teenager. You just don’t understand. You never were my age. Times are different.
I see you as funny and my friends think you are hilarious. That makes my life easier because I care about what they think a lot.
I see you struggling to lose weight and I wish I could do something. I saw you scared this year and thought you were sick again. That thought terrifies me. I already lost one parent and I would be mad at you if you left me, too. Don’t leave me. I would never forgive you for that.
I see you and realize that we could be good friends one day. Sometimes I wish we could be friends and watch 80s movies together, take each other’s pictures, and share mascara and shoes. But then you go and act like a mom again and that frustrates me.
I see you as my mom. And, I love you. – Rebecca
Today I am taking a deep breath and focusing on the wonderful, diverse reflections that I see when looking at my children. I have work to do, but I am choosing to do hard things today.
I am embracing all of the reflections. And because of them, I am choosing to become a better person.
What do the mirrors say about you? Please remember, there is always more good being reflected than we give ourselves credit for. Soak that in before beating yourself up with the ugly. No shame is involved in this process! Only taking a deep breath, being honest with yourself, choosing and working towards change, and moving forward. We can do this. I believe in us.
Blessings sweet friends,