This girls sure loves her baby sisters! I watch her so closely care for and love them like its such a natural ability for her to love people well. She's definitely going through a phase of only listening to mom and dad when she chooses, but at the core of who she is I can already see how she genuinely is a kind soul. These three sisters are all going to benefit so greatly because of that. Recently, I've noticed how much she watches me. How she soaks in everything I say and do, whether its towards her or others. Case in point, the picture of her wearing my boots. She watches how I put on boots and she wants to do it too. She watches how I tickle the twins and she does the same. She listens how I say "hiii" to them when I walk in to pick them up and she imitates me almost exactly. I consider it the greatest compliment watching her watch me. It gives me so much of a reality check of myself too, knowing that I have this direct effect on her and how she will have an effect on others. I only hope that at the core of it all this natural kindness always comes from her first. I hope that for all my kids. That kindness and gentleness and love are what describe them the most. That they would put others before themselves, that they would love others well, that others would feel safe with them. And I know it starts with me. It starts with checking myself and allowing myself to be seen from someone else's perspective. I can never have an accurate picture of me from my perspective alone. It takes others telling me the truth of who I am and the truth of how I effect them (which is not always easy to hear) to understand and grow in how to better love those around me. I hope I can create a safe place for our kids to be able to tell me how I effect them, what they learn from me verbally and non verbally. I know I'll never be perfect in this, but I hope that in my own maturing process they will at least know that the goal is always learning how to love others well.
Its amazing how much kids put things into perspective. I think its a common desire for all parents to want our kids to have the best life, to feel the most loved, to be so protected and secure. And while I want to control all aspects of their life to make this happen at all costs, the only thing I can really control is the example I'm giving them. I get to be their first teacher, teaching them how to live this life by the way I live it myself. If I want them to be kind to others, I need to be kind to others. If I want them to live unhidden, I need to show them that I am living unhidden. If I want them to learn how to laugh at themselves, I need to learn to laugh at myself too. It's not easy to do by any means, but I really believe that this is the most loving and protecting thing I can do for them as they grow up. If an 18 month old can watch me put on my boots and the next second do it herself, how much more will she learn from me in the things that matter most?