How to Look in the Mirror

Dear Evi,

I have many dreams for you. As your Mama, it is what we do. We dream dreams for you. Every single day. 

Lately, I have been having a recurring dream. It is a day dream, so that is a dream that happens in the days as I am wide awake. In these days at your wise age of 5.75 months old, our moments are filled with reading books, playing on the floor and looking in the mirror. Yes, we look in the mirror about 18 times a day because you love it so much. 

Let me tell you about you and the mirror. 

Evi, when you look in the mirror, at first you are in wonder. Your brain seems to be capturing the image in front of you, you in my arms, your eyes, your face, my face. And you contemplate for a moment. 

Then, you smile. You smile the biggest smile at yourself. As if you have never seen someone so wonderful, so beautiful, so full of life and growing every day. 

Then you pause again. To think it through, from what I can see.

And following that thought you smile again and make a loud noise. And then you get a little bashful and retreat into my shoulder and then pop back up again to make sure you are still there. And you are. You are still there, alive and growing and beaming and cooing. 

And I kiss your face. And you reach for the mirror. You reach for your reflection. You reach for yourself in that moment, as if to give yourself a high five or that ET Phone Home moment with your index finger. 

These moments in the mirror, I learn from you.

Or moreover, I unlearn. 

Because it has been a long, long, long time since Mama looked at herself this way. Since I can even remember. When I look in the mirror I am looking for problems. I lean in and seek the blemish, I lean in and see the eyebrow growth or ever recurring mustache. I lean in closer to see if my eyes look tired or inquire if my bangs will EVER grow out again or if my boobs will ever match again. I lean in to criticize my reflection.

But not anymore. 

You have taught me to see myself and smile. You have taught me to look at the whole picture, contemplate and laugh. You have taught me to see myself growing and being oh so human and alive. Now, I reach for myself in that reflection, instead of the approval of others.

I dream for you that you always look at yourself this way in the mirror today and every day to come. Always. I dream for you that you smile and see you growing into the person you choose to be. I dream for you that you laugh out loud at yourself and that you continue to reach for yourself, high five yourself or ET phone home with your index finger and recognize that you are home within your own body when you choose that fierce, bold, courageous love of your own reflection. 

I dream this for you.

I dream this for me.

I dream this for all women when they looks themselves in the mirror that they smile, and laugh, and high five and so boldly love all that we are becoming.  

Thank you for teaching me, Evi. I promise to keep (un)learning.

Love, your student, your Mama

Jacki Carr