Like Looking in a Mirror

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Early in my high-school years, I developed a strange habit of chewing on the end of my hair.

Yeah, I know. It’s kind of gross and weird and I have absolutely no idea where it came from or when it went away. I was a shy, awkward kid–and teen … and of course that is completely and totally different than how I am now.

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I was in drama from 8th to 10th grades before I discovered that no matter how much my heart told me I was going to be on Broadway, my acting skills just didn’t measure up. (Again with shy and awkward.) I spent 11th and 12th grade in the creative writing elective, and I think we can all agree that was a better choice.

I vividly remember a drama exercise where we were paired with another student and we were supposed to give a monologue as that other person. I was teamed up with a good friend of mine, much to my relief. And as we practiced in our high-school auditorium, also known as the drama “classroom,” the first thing she did to “be” me was start chewing on her hair.

I was mortified. I thought no one else noticed this crazy habit; it was my own secret strangeness. But obviously it was the first thing people noticed about me. Seeing it replicated by someone else made me crimson with embarrassment and sick to my stomach.

I get the same feeling now–often–when I see my bad habits reflected in my spunky two-year-old. Some of them seem rather harmless to me: the way she says, “Come on!” in the exact same intonation that I do. But I know this truly shows how I get upset at simple, insignificant things.

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Her indignant, “Hush, baby David!” is another phrase I don’t like to hear repeated. Do I really say it like that? Am I so insensitive to my own children?

We are definitely at the point where Libbie soaks in anything and everything. Just like in high school, we are being watched. Will what she reflects make me proud? (Like when she says she is “waiting for Jesus” as she closes her eyes and folds her hands together?) Or will I once again be mortified, embarrassed of my own habits as I see them repeated before my eyes?

Photo credit: bagaball

4 thoughts on “Like Looking in a Mirror

  1. I have noticed (and discussed with other moms) how often parents seem to get along better with their kids that favor their spouse – and I think its for this exact reason. We love our spouse's idiosyncrasies, quirks, and habits – in a way we don't love our own, so its easier to find those habits adorable in our children, while our own habits are frustrating and embarrassing. Killian is so very much like me, and Ellie is so much like David. Most of the time, Ellie is a lot easier for me – I tend to loose patience with Killian quicker.

  2. Evan has started mimicking some of my less desirable habits. When he gets frustrated he will let out a loud "Uhhhhhh" which I KNOW comes from me. Ooops! It definitely opens your eyes to how others see you.

  3. In my humble opinion, there are MUCH worse people that your daughter could be reflecting. I love you, big sis. If you need me, I am a mere 5 hours away. 🙂 <3

  4. Oh man, I definitely know what you're talking about! My 3-year-old daughter says some words that seem harmless when I say them, but when they come out of her mouth, they just sound so ugly! "Stupid", "dangit", and "hate" ("I hate this movie!" are a few examples. They seem harmless, but hearing them come out of my sweet 3-year-old's mouth makes me cringe! She has definitely taught me how to watch my words!

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