There are times when I believe I just might think too much. As impulsive and compulsive as I might appear at first glance, well, I am not sure that the perception is accurate. An astronomer told me this years ago... a reflection of the "Leo" in my chart. I am not sure I took the time to examine the thought carefully - at least I didn't examine it as much as I have of late.
As I sit and contemplate the words that will join together to form an essay on Role Models, I am asked to consider the more cautious and cautious aspects of my nature.
Whether or not I am or will ever be a role model for my daughter, I have set myself to allow her to make that choice... and I have lived a life that she could use as a model in many ways. And I have done it with complete awareness and focus on just that. It isn't that I am working to be someone I am not; It is that I want to be the person that I am.
And it isn't always easy; painless; or clean and sparkly with stars and rainbows. But I try to keep it - and myself- as honest as possible.
Before she was born, I set aside the things I wanted to teach her with the idea that I couldn't teach them through words but through living them:
Appreciation for life and people
Demonstration of Love
Empathy and Compassion
And in teaching her these things, I found myself opening to learn those things that she offers to teach me:
Observance of the details
Taking the time to help others
Awareness of people to a greater degree than before
Remaining open to hear the words of a child and see their wisdom and their joy
Freedom to sing and dance along sidewalks
In living the life of a potential role model, I found myself open to seeing the role model that shares my house and my life. And though she is and will always be my daughter, she is a wonderful model of living a full and honest life.
"Your daughter is naturally beautiful" the older woman behind the counter tells us. She has seen my daughter grow over the last few years and come more into her own. "I see lots of teen aged girls come in and they are so worried about this and that and acting... But your daughter *sigh* is naturally beautiful (like her mom)"
My heart sang; my daughter felt awkward as she likes recognition for her ability, not for just being herself... and I was reminded how maybe I have presented a good role model after all.
Adults often dismiss their actions believing that kids will learn from what they are intentionally taught over what they consistently observe. I believe that kids hear our words, but our actions, our choices, the way we choose to live our lives - These are lessons kids learn on so many levels and in so many ways. The strongest lessons are those both stated verbally and via our lifestyle and choices.