It’s almost as if everything that once was, happens all over again…only with different players.
As I child I remember sitting in the bathroom mesmerized by my mother’s beauty. I would sit on the edge of the tub and watch her flawlessly apply her make-up.
This morning, I saw that same picture – only this time my daughter watched me in wonderment.
She scurried behind me as I walked into the bathroom. Reaching for her stepstool, my daughter excitedly proclaimed, “Mommy I would just like to watch. I promise I won’t touch anything.”
Perched right next to me, she stared in awe as I began washing my face and applying my make-up. She studied my every move, anxiously anticipating the next step.
She even mimicked my style of make-up application and occasionally she asked, “Mommy, why do you do that?”
I chuckled, thinking back some twenty years ago when I – in the same manner as my daughter – methodically watched my mother.
I would study my mother’s moves. I made it a science to memorize the way she evenly blended her foundation to the way she held her lips when she applied lipstick.
Each time I watched her, I remember praying with all my might that my mother would put some make-up on me too. And without fail, at the end of each “lesson,” my mother would put just a touch of red lipstick on my lips.
Remembering how I felt when my mom gave me lipstick, it was only natural that this morning, I too, put just a touch of copper lipstick on my daughter’s lips. I watched her grin from ear-to-ear with pride.
As Mother’s Day approaches, this morning’s bit of déjà vu reminded me that a mother is a child’s first role model.
When in the womb, the first voice a child hears is her mothers, one of the first faces a child sees is her mother’s – it’s a face that she soon associates with love and protection.
Mothers mold and shape our future doctors, lawyers, teachers and presidents with constant lessons.
For even when a mother is not trying to “teach,” she winds up teaching, guiding and nurturing. Everyday tasks become another one of life’s all-important lessons – typically a lesson that has been handed down from one mother to the next.
Whether a lesson on make-up application or properly budgeting finances, a mother is the first teacher. She learns from her first teacher who learned from her first teacher, who watched her first teacher, and so on, creating a legacy of strong women.
And while everyday is a day to celebrate mothers, let this May 10 be a special day of celebration, acknowledging the women who have taught and given you so much so that you can in turn do the same.
My mother often watches me interact with my daughter and says, “Oh I can’t wait to see the two of you when she turns sixteen.”
She finds it refreshing to be able to utter those words. After all, my grandmother told her those same words when I was just a child.
May 20, 2013 //
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