Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Double take

The car visor is constantly down and the mirror cover is constantly open.  The main level of my house is a maze of mirrors and glass reflections that she must glance at before she can climb the stairs. The camera feature on my phone is a mobile mirror that can collect 30-40 "selfies" on a short car ride to the grocery store.  The temptation to gaze at her reflection is a constant indulgence my tween can't resist!

After rolling my eyes to my mom at Abby's behavior, that I perceived as nauseatingly vain, she made a wise observation (no surprise!). My mom had spent several days with Abby and I and she sensed that I was growing weary of this tween-induced-narcissism that can sometimes propel her like a robot.

After reassuring me that Abby would move beyond this stage, she gave me some great insight.  She suggested that perhaps Abby wasn't holding hostage any self-reflection she could find to merely ogle at herself in the name of vanity.  Her suggestion was that in her rapidly changing world, perhaps she needs to gaze in the mirror to keep track of who she is on a daily (hourly!) basis.  Maybe the hair flip and the duck face lips that she can't help posing for, are her tether to remind her of who she used to be and who she is rapidly becoming.  Life is changing so quickly for her and maybe glancing in the mirror is her way of making sure her outward appearance matches who she feels she is on the inside.  Kind of a tween "self-soothing" mechanism.

As her over-protective mom, maybe an occasional glance in the mirror would serve me well too,  As I age and climb beyond 40, I want to look at my reflection less and less - the wrinkles and the sun damage are staring back at me and I feel frustrated by the changes I see.  Just as Abby gazes longingly at herself to stay on guard for any new shadow or freckle, perhaps I need to catch my own gaze and stare past the brown-eyed reflection into the wisdom I have amassed as a mom.

I need to look beyond the laugh lines and the stray eyebrows and gather my confidence as I ascend 'tween mountain' as Abby's Sherpa.  I refuse to be propelled by fear and anxiety.  The world wants me to believe that life is out of control, busy is better, chaos is normal.  Magazines and media want me to ride the wave of parenting and 'hold on tight' and just try to weather the storm. 

God tells me something different.  He whispers "you are perfectly matched with your children - I entrusted them to you for a reason" - He reminds me that He is with me and He adores my kids even more than their Dad and I do.  He reminds me to reflect His love to them.

So as summer gets underway, I'll pull out the Windex and shine up the mirrors for Abby's reassurance as she checks in daily (hourly!) on her evolving reflection...and I'll shine up my vanity mirror too and try to remember not to stop short of occasionally looking at my reflection too.

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome Emily! Such a powerful reminder of what a gift God has given us in our children! I needed this today. Just amazing!!