Elise started imitating us at a very early age. I don't remember her exact age, but I do remember how it made my heart melt. First she would copy the sounds that we made. Then, our facial expressions. I think she was about 10 months old when she picked up the telephone and held it up to her ear; pretending to talk to someone.
The other day I was in the bathroom, completing my morning ritual of getting ready. Elise was standing beside me, intently watching. As I was putting cream on my face, I could see her out of the corner of my eye, copying every move I made. She rubbed her hands together, then mimicked smoothing the cream over her cheeks and onto her neck.
Next, I started to brush my teeth. And again she pantomimed my actions, complete with sh-sh noises, using her finger as the toothbrush. Her joy was apparent and she seemed to revel in doing everything Momma was doing.
I kept watching her as I reached for my hairbrush. She grabbed a discarded comb and we brushed our hair in tandem; Elise standing on her tippy-toes trying to catch a glimpse of herself in the mirror.
My daughter is watching me. And if she's imitating the very mundane details of my life; just what is she seeing and copying when it comes to what is important?
How I treat people.
The things I place value in.
How well I love.
My words versus my actions.
How I spend my time.
The words that I use.
I could write more; it is a seemingly endless list. But I worry that she sees the worst in me, not the best. More than anything, I want her to see Jesus in me. The Jesus that is kind, and gentle. Who loves well, and not just the people who are easy to love. The Jesus whose yes means yes and no means no. The Jesus who died on a cross to save the ones He loves.
Some days I just don't see that person in the mirror when I'm getting ready in the morning. Old habits die hard and I need to remember.
She's watching me.