When I was a little girl, there was nothing I loved more than watching my mother. Every morning as she sat at her dressing table going through her meticulous beauty ritual, I’d be perched on her bed, lost in rapt attention. Even now, as a grown woman, I’m still captivated by her.
A month and a half after my daughter was born, as she cradled her in her arms, my mother suddenly whispered, “She already watches you”. Following this, I realized that while she was awake, little Noé’s eyes tracked my every move.
She hadn’t meant it as advice, but with my mother’s innocent observation, I felt a new weight of responsibility settle upon my shoulders.
Before that moment, this role reversal had never occurred to me. But the day had come for me to fill my mother’s proverbial shoes. I was faced with the urgent realization that I had a daughter of my own who watches me.
Immediately, I began to take mental stock of what she might have seen so far. I’ll admit, she’d witnessed some cringe worthy moments. Like me stepping onto the bathroom scale about a thousand times, in my obsession to lose the baby weight, or the time I kicked the diaper genie repeatedly because it wouldn’t shut all the way, and let’s not forget when I addressed my husband using my outside voice, if you know what I mean.
Thankfully there were also some decent moments. Like when a real estate peddler obnoxiously pounded on our front door during her all too precarious naptime and I restrained myself from setting the dog on him, or the solo dance parties I often held for her entertainment (which probably explains her love for twirling), and what I hope is my graceful domestic goddess/career woman juggling act.
Still, as much I want to be a good example, I rebel against the urge to present myself as picture perfect to my daughter. June Cleaver never really existed, and even if she did, I want no part of that façade.
I can only hope that, Noé will have many years to watch and take notes as I continue to strive to live as a person of character. But the fact is that she will see me at my best and worst, just as I have my own mother.
And in those unbecoming moments, like this morning when I stubbed my toe, she will just have to forgive me while I do the ungainly hop-around-on-one-foot dance, while cursing like a sailor, because seriously that stuff hurts like a motherlucker!