I have a child, who is my mirror. Not in the sense of looks although she does resemble me. No, this is a different kind of mirror. A mirror that reflects my truth; a reflection I don’t always want to see staring back at me. Nonetheless, it is my reflection.
We all have times when we take a good, long, hard look at ourselves and we don’t always like what we see. Occasionally, if we are lucky and those skinny jeans are fitting just right; we may embrace ourselves for a moment. Mothering has forced me to embrace myself in ways I could not fathom before I had children.
That girl of mine knows me. She feeds off my stress. She pushes my boundaries and stretches me into new borders. She works from a place of instinct. She possesses a deep understanding of who I am as a human being. She cries; I cry. I laugh; she laughs. We feel one another’s pain. We delight in each other’s joy. And it is so much more than that. It is every little detail in the middle. Where emotions and behavior dance with one another in an entanglement of expression.
She reflects the hypocrisy in my tone; the condemnation in my language when I am blindly unaware of my own aggressive vernacular. When she sings and dances with wild abandon, when she gets lost in a book beneath her fuzzy covers, when she seeks interest in the trivialities of life and questions authority without apology; I see my reflection.
Her bright eyes, the color of the sea, pull me in with their kindness. She reflects back at me a million imperfections and reminds me I will never have this parenting job completely sorted out. We will always struggle to some degree in our relationship because I will always struggle with that, which is my truth. I will try to deny my truth; alter it in a way that feels more comfortable when I wear it. But in the end, I need my truth just as much as I need that girl who holds the mirror.