Raising a mini-me and looking into the mirror

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naudiaandmeRaising a mini-me is a thrill. I watch my daughter and see myself in everything she does. For example, her sweet soul helps people when they’re feeling sad, her thirst for knowledge, and her love of life are commendable. However, I’ve also been witness to seeing the worst of me in her. When we are faced with the task of raising someone who acts so much like you, it shatters your view of yourself and makes you soul search the challenging parts of your personality.

Like most people, I have an idea of what my faults are, even if I don’t want to admit them. However, when presented with a miniature version of me, who acts out, you have to sit down and teach them how to do things the “right” way. This means sitting down and digging deep into yourself and reflecting on how you would change how you do things.

I can attest that my mini-me has some great conversational skills as she comes home daily and tells me very animated stories. However, her argumentative skills rival that of the greatest defense attorneys around. Raising my daughter has taught me that sometimes the best thing you can do is not say anything at all. I’ve been challenged to teach her that letting someone else get the last word, even if you disagree with them, could be one of the greatest accomplishments of your day. Sometimes, letting things go is the greatest way to win an argument.

Not only are her conversational skills great, but her leadership skills are also astounding. She is a fearless leader and an expert negotiator, always ready to tell people what to do and how to do it. I have watched this girl get her brothers to not only clean up her room but do it happily. However, when she crosses that line and becomes a micro-managing, know-it-all, it’s my job to sit down with her and tell her that sometimes people do things differently (such as folding the laundry), it’s okay. There’s no need to refold that shirt. It’s not even your shirt. Just let it go and be happy someone sat down and helped you (seriously, put the shirt down).

Being a six-year-old, my daughter has conquered the world and knows everything she needs to know. That kind of attitude is a dangerous one, especially when she’s trying to make eggs for everyone in the morning and refuses to listen to me about the art of a soft yolk. I have to sit down and tell her that we never stop learning. I tell my daughter that every day I teach, my college-aged students teach me something, even if it is the meaning of the word “fleek.” I try to get her to understand that you cease to grow when you stop listening to people and stop learning from others.

Every life lesson I try to teach my daughter is one I quietly reflect on after putting her to bed. I take them to heart and realize how much growing I still have to do.

I realize that every life lesson I try to teach her is a life lesson I teach myself.

I don’t need a mirror because when I look at my daughter, I see myself. Right there is a smaller, blonder version of me. I see my strengths, and I see my weaknesses. I see a mini-me, who I desperately try to make better than me so that she can enjoy the world just that much more.

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