[Updated] Our kids are our mirrors

[Update] – I wrote this post a couple of days ago. At breakfast this morning, Nathan and Eliza gave a prime example of the way our kids mirror us. Nathan, drinking juice from a plastic margarita glass that he loves, and Eliza toasted their morning beverage, “Cheers!”

Our son Nathan is a passionate, energetic, creative child. He lives fully and at full speed–he’s intense. I think he gets some of his intensity from his parents, don’t you?

You can see some of his joie de vivre in this self-portrait taken when he stumbled upon my iPad on the dining room table. He is absolutely delighted to see his own image on the screen!

Spontaneous self-portrait with my iPad
Spontaneous self-portrait after discovering my iPad on the dining room table.

When he’s happy, Nathan is super happy. When he’s not happy, let’s just say…you know about it. He has been intense since birth. Really. When we was an infant, we tried to swaddled him. He was having none of it. Not wanting his arm movement restricted he became incredibly adept at squirming out of the blanket.

At times, I’ve found myself wondering: where did this kid come from? The answer, of course, is that he came from Anna and me. He is a divinely-sculpted combination of us. There are things each of us can point to in him that make him “a Gissing” or “a Moseley.”

We most often do this with those characteristics that are endearing and cute. The truth is there is in our children–both through nature and through nurture–something of our brokenness.

It can be incredibly difficult to see you child wrestling with a seemingly innate aversion to risk. It can be hard to watch your child scream in anger because he was not able to do something perfectly…the first time. Yet, in each of these encounters with our children we can see a little bit of ourselves.

In a sense, they represent a primitive or primeval “us.” An us that has only just begun its journey into wholeness–or away from it. So, while seeing these events can be tough they can be powerful reminders of the loving grace of a good God who has brought us further along the journey of maturity. They can be markers of the investments made my parents, spouse, friends, teachers, mentors–all of which have made us who we are.

So as you watch the highs and the lows of bringing up kids try to remember that there’s grace even in the tough parts.

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