I had to apologize to a friend today. There’s nothing more humbling than asking someone for forgiveness, knowing they have every reason not to extend it. Yesterday, I did laundry, paid bills, studied my Bible and prayed. I also lost my patience, talked about someone when she wasn’t around and ate cookies for lunch. The one thing all of that has in common is that Brynna saw none of it.
I think so much about what she sees. I am aware of every minute of television she watches and think through my every response so that hopefully what she sees is an example I want her to follow. But who you are when no one is looking is who you are. What I do when she can’t see is maybe more important than what she can see. Scratch that. It IS more important. What she doesn’t see is who I am.
She sees a lot right now because we spend 26 hours a day together. (That’s not a typo.) But in a few short months, she will go to school all day. She won’t see how I spend my time, handle our finances or treat people when she’s not around. And I won’t see. I won’t see how she talks with other little girls. I won’t see how she treats the kid other kids leave out. I won’t see the way she speaks to adults.
Do I want who she is when I’m not looking to be who I am when no one’s around? Motherhood is one big, never-ending, raw look in the mirror. How do I talk with other girls? How do I treat the people who require extra grace? How do I speak to authority?
What she doesn’t see is who I am. And whether she can see it or not, it’s who she’s learning to become.
I don’t know how my friend will respond to my apology or what I’ll have for lunch. But I know that the choices I make – even when she doesn’t see – will affect who she is. So I’m going to work a little harder so that what she doesn’t see is who I want her to be.