Being a mom puts you under a microscope in a way that nothing else will – unless you choose to throw your hat in the ring for President one day. My little shadow is particularly good at copying everything she sees and everything she hears. I see it when she picks up my cell phone and starts working the buttons with thumbs like a high school student in a text war. She learned that one from her aunt. Often though, looking at her is like looking at a fun house mirror. My most distinguishing features get all blown out of proportion. (Is my forehead really that big?)
Our bedroom has no built-in closets, so her father and I have matching armoirs. A few days ago she marched over to her father’s armoir and threw open both doors. “I know WHY! I know WHERE!” she announced in her stage voice. Then she closed the doors. Again, she threw the doors wide and dramatically said, “I know WHY! I know WHY! I know WHY! I know WHERE!”
Cute, but what does she mean? Then I saw my reflection in her nearly bald little head.
I have a ritual, each Sunday, which is the only time I every have an excuse to wear something other than mom jeans. When I throw wide the armoir doors, I am confronted by a closet full of clothes purchased long before I had a baby. Most were purchased when I still had a J-O-B. Some, I think, were purchased during the Clinton administration.
I glance at all of the too small, out-of-style or matching-nothing-else-I-own clothing. Then I say, “I don’t know why I bother! I have nothing to wear!”
Ah, I know WHY and I have nothing to WEAR!
Everything we do teaches them something. Whether it is a tiny thing, like cutting a peanut butter sandwich the “right” way or something big, someone is watching you! Our kids learn about appreciating their bodies from us. They learn how to handle life’s little ups and downs from us. They probably also learn about keeping your closet cleaned out and getting rid of anything that is no longer valuable, but I don’t want to think too much about that right now!
I really want my daughter to have the self-confidence and poise I have never quite mastered. I want her to see herself as the beautiful girl that she is, even if she keeps takes those adorably chubby thighs to college. If she is going to learn all of that, she will need a role model. Not someone who whines at a closet full of expired clothes. I have so much to teach her, and so much to learn from her. Starting with buying myself some clothes that fit. And some clothes that are as cute as the stuff I buy her.