My guest blogger today is my sweet daughter, Hannah. She is a wife and mother with a beautiful family. I was quite touched by this post, and I'm sure you will be too.
About a week ago I was going through a bag of hand-me-downs for my son, Joey, looking for some pants that might fit him better. I pulled out several long-sleeved, button-down, collared shirts in different colors. My son, who is 20 months old, picked one up and said, “Dada shirt, dada shirt!” Unable to contain his excitement at finding a shirt just like the ones daddy wears to work, he picked it up and clutched it to his chest. I asked him if he wanted to try it on and we spent the next few minutes with him in his “dada shirt” and diaper while I tried various pairs of pants on him. (I’m sneaky, in case you were wondering.)
His excitement amused me as he wears white shirts to church every Sunday, and I was reminded yet again how much he notices. Even at 20 months he knows that the shirts daddy wears to work are different from the white shirt and tie daddy wears to church.
Fast forward a few minutes and I am in the kids’ room changing my daughter’s diaper with my son looking on, still in his dada shirt and diaper. My husband comes home, and comes in to talk to us, leaning with one hand on the door frame, weight braced on one leg, with the other leg bent and crossed over in front. My son takes one look at his father, runs over to the doorway, puts one hand on the frame and stands just like my husband. I couldn’t help but laugh and frantically tried to take a picture on my husband’s phone, but Joey moved a little with all the fuss. You’ll have to take my word for it that originally his pose exactly mirrored my husband’s.
Since this incident I’ve been thinking about how much my son tries to be like his daddy. I am fortunate to have been blessed with a wonderful man to spend my life with and I have no fears about Joey mimicking him. If he grows up to be like his father he will be a wonderful man someday. But I know that I also had a hand in this; when dating, I always considered how the person I was with would be as a father.
What if teenage girls didn’t have babies because they are lonely and craving love but instead thought of what it would be like for their child, growing up trying to find someone to emulate, being influenced more by what they see on TV than a stable parent in their home. Think how much better the world would be if instead of looking at how much money someone makes or the kind of car they drive, we considered the example they will set for our future children. Is he helpful? Is he respectful and friendly to people and the things around him? Can he laugh at his own mistakes? Can he deal with disappointment and stress without becoming violent or relying on some kind of chemical dependency?
No one is perfect, but watching my son the other night reminded me that we have two little children who are always watching us, who see everything. My little boy in a “dada shirt” reminded me to try to be the kind of person I hope he will become someday.