my son saw himself as if for the first time the other day. little boy cheeks pressed to looking glass and his reflection, startled. he’d given the glass a kiss then backed away as if in horror to stare for minutes and then, bottom lip trembling, turned to me, then back to the mirror, realizing, this wasn’t some random image. it was he in the mirror.
and for the first time he knew this was what others saw too, and life became more than an act of seeing others. whereas before he’d merely used his eyes for looking at the world, now he had the option of turning inward, and this, how self-conscious is born. the shame of the garden and seeing oneself as naked, and i wept inside, for the loss of paradise in one so young. if only we could keep our children from shame. if only we could keep their eyes turned outward. yet the pull of the mirror is magnetic and the reaction, too often, horror.
and then i think of how i respond to myself in the mirror, the way i shudder in the morning at my bed-head and primp and preen and see only me. the way i wish for more, when what i have is a gift.
i am my son’s mirror. he sees his own value when he looks at me. oh Lord, let me reflect your love, your acceptance, your joy. may i be a mother that exudes grace so my children will grow up being gracious with themselves. knowing this earth is but a dim reflection.
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. (1 Corinthians 13:12)