We all have role models, people we respect and desire to emulate, people who inspire and challenge us to grow. Sometimes these role models are older than us; sometimes they’re fictional characters; sometimes it’s our mom or older sister or even a celebrity. I grew up with a generation of girls to whom the Pink Power Ranger was the end all and be all. There are a lot of little girls in this country who pray nightly to wake up magically transformed into Queen Elsa herself.
My role model is someone a little different. She’s barely 3 feet tall, doesn’t have all her teeth yet, and still poops her pants on a daily basis. She’s my toddler daughter. Allow me to share with you five reasons why my daughter is the person I want to be.
- She’s brave- Sometimes this involves great feats and daring escapades like climbing things that my momma brain sees as totally un-climbable. But she doesn’t see those things as an obstacle from which to shrink; she sees them as minute challenges, and up she goes. Other times her great courage involves much simpler things like going over to a lonely-looking child and taking them a toy or saying that she’s sorry after bumping her baby sister in the head. How much more would we accomplish…how much more would we live if we all tried new and even scary things with the reckless abandon of an almost two-year-old? How much better would this world be if we all strove to be kind rather than safely tucked away inside our comfort zones? How much more would love and forgiveness abound if we apologized so readily?
- She’s confident- My daughter is wide open. She runs, dances, and bounces her way through life, not caring who’s watching and unaware that most people suppress the free-spiritedness that she so openly displays. I’m told that I was like that once, and she’s inspiring me to be like that again. How much more fun is it to go through life knowing who we are and living joyfully from that place rather than trying to suppress ourselves or, worse, trying to be someone else?
- She’s warm and welcoming and kind- I don’t know how, but, for the most part, my daughter is an innate sharer. Instead of hoarding her toys, when friends come over she makes sure that everyone has something to play with. She’ll take food off her own plate and give it to someone else. She’s even been known to take food out of her own mouth and offer it freely to others, though we’re trying to curb that one. She inspires me to strive to make our home one where everyone feels welcome and cared for. She inspires me to give me best to every guest who walks through our door, keeping nothing back to selfishly enjoy alone later.
- She owns her junk- From toots to general naughtiness, if she did it, she owns it. None of this hiding and pretending; openness is her way.
- She’s a helper- Nothing makes my girl come running like asking her if she’d like to help Mommy (except for maybe the promise of mangoes which are her very favorite). She loves to help. We’re currently remodeling our kitchen, and, if you’d been here in our home today, you would’ve found my little girl right beside me while I took down the old wallpaper boarder. She sprayed the water, and I scraped the wallpaper off. How many times have we remained silent when someone asked for help, hoping someone else would volunteer and take the pressure off of us?
None of this is to pat myself on the back. These 5 things have very little, if anything, to do with me and very much to do with who my daughter is at heart. I don’t say any of it to make myself look like the world’s greatest mom. I say it because, in a world of political rants and hatred and anger I think we could all learn a little something from the little people in our lives. We don’t have to search far and wide to find a good role model; often times, we only have to look down right about knee-height.