Tonight at bath time, you looked me square in the eye and said, “Mommy, when I get big, I wanna be just like you.”
It took me by surprise, and it instantly warmed my heart right down to the gooey center.
I smiled and told you how sweet that was and how good it made me feel, but…
For the next few minutes, my thoughts went a little something like this:
Oh, baby . . . no.
Please don’t be like mommy.
Trust me. You don’t want to be like me.
You can be so much more than this.
You can get out and see the world.
You can earn a higher education.
You can treat your body with the respect it deserves.
You can unapologetically be yourself.
Don’t wait until you’re 30 to stop caring what others think of you.
Don’t let anxiety rule your life.
Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back.
Keep in close touch with old friends. The ones who know you better than you know yourself.
Speak up when you have a good idea to contribute.
Don’t be intimidated by those with a higher stature.
If you don’t love the book, don’t feel obligated to finish it.
Don’t take things out on your husband when you’ve had a bad day.
If you say you’re going to do something, find a way to do it.
Just be you. And never look back.
I wondered what it was that you saw in me tonight.
Was it the playfulness in my voice as I washed between your toes?
Or the way I leaned over the side of the tub as we sang our favorite song together? (Three times because I can’t say no to your chants of “Again! Again!”)
Maybe it was the way I listened intently to the story of your day.
Or maybe you sensed my very best quality . . . my love of being your mommy.
And if that’s the case, I can live with you being a little bit like me.
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