Have you ever taken the time to see yourself through the eyes of a child?
So often, if the thought occurs to me at all, the predominant assumptions about my daughters perspective are, “she must think I’m mean”, or she probably thinks that “I’m a horrible mother”. Generally, the only times that it even crosses my mind is when I feel guilty after having to discipline her for something that she has done wrong, or after she repeats something that she shouldn’t have heard her mother say to begin with.
So it came as a pleasant surprise to me today as I was relaxing on the couch doing some reading, and my little girl came up to talk to me. I laid down my book, and was just enjoying looking at her, while she attempted to say something that made little, if any sense to me. All of a sudden she glanced past me to the calendar on the wall, and said, “Is that you singing?” When I turned my head to see what she was referring to, I was honestly in shock. I began to laugh as I told her, “No, baby. That’s not mommy singing.” We carried on our conversation, and soon she went back to playing with her new mermaids that she got for her birthday yesterday.
I picked up my book, and tried to pick up where I left off, but I was still amazed by what my daughter had asked me. I couldn’t get over the fact that the image she was referring to was so incredibly distant from what I actually look like and that nobody else would dare to make the comparison between myself and this world-recognized beauty. Suddenly it hit me what a compliment this was. But not much as a testimony of what she physically sees, but the fact that it isn’t how she sees me.
I decided that I must be doing something right, because as it turns out, to my daughter, I am a beautiful movie star. I am a perfect vision. Not because I look like the woman in the picture, but because that is who she knows me to be.
For me, it translates into an inner beauty. She doesn’t see me physically, she sees what is inside. I wish that it were possible to keep that outlook as we move into adulthood. To see somebody from the things that they do, and who they are, rather than seeing them for what they look like.
Was my (now) three-year-old thinking of it in this way? Most certainly not, but it made me think about something that otherwise wouldn’t have been likely to cross my mind.
I’m so relaxed to see that this is the default way that my child sees the world around her, and I see now more than ever that I need to try my hardest not to show her otherwise.