Looking in the Mirror

M broke her wrist a few weeks ago. She fell off the last rung on her last turn on the monkey bars. She was an absolute star on those monkey bars. She would take her tiny little self back and forth over and over again until she couldn’t do it any more. She was strong. She was fierce. She was happy.

Then she broke her wrist. Thankfully no surgery was necessary, and the cast was only required for 3 weeks. BUT, for a child who prides herself on her independence and who is a perfectionist by nature, these last few weeks have been……..challenging. They’ve actually been challenging for both of us because watching her struggle has felt like looking in a mirror.

Have you ever looked at your child and seen the parts of yourself that you’d rather not see, the parts you would rather look away from? Yet there they are staring you right in the face? I know how it feels to take on alllllll the feelings. I know how it feels when you want and need everything to be just so. I know how it feels to desperately not want to disappoint. I just don’t want my 6 year old to know those feelings too. And that has become glaringly obvious in the last few weeks as I’ve entered parts of her world that she typically manages on her own.

Yet here we are and who better to shepherd her though it than me. Right?  Even though it’s especially challenging and even sometimes painful to confront the qualities I’d really like to overlook, in a way it’s also like a second chance. For both of us. Because maybe by helping M refine personality traits that are challenging me for me, we can help each other. Maybe by staring my own weaknesses square in the face, I can grow along with my little M. Maybe by helping her I will change too. Maybe we will change each other.

I believe that the some most difficult moments in parenting have silver linings. Sometimes they may shine brightly and sometimes they just trickle through. Regardless, they are there. We just have to know how to look for them.

Find the joy,


Jessica McCauley, M.Ed. is a parenting coach/consultant. She draws on her background as a Montessori educator and Child Life Specialist to help families navigate the challenges of the early childhood years. Contact Jessica at http://smallhandsbigsteps.com/contact/ for more information or to schedule a consultation.