My youngest daughter, Ashlyn, the one I lovingly refer to as “challenging”, eats a very good breakfast. It’s her best meal and therefore I try to keep it healthy. When she first began solids breakfast was plain oatmeal mixed with apple juice, a banana and some Yobaby. Now that the warmer months are upon us we have transitioned to cold cereal in place of warm oatmeal.
At first the cold cereal was healthy. Honey Nut Cheerios. Healthy right? Well, this is the generic brand so they don’t exactly taste like honey. Or nuts. This morning after eating a bowl of the tan circular cardboard thingies she points to the cabinet and does the sign for “more”. She wants more cereal. I pull out the cheerios box and she shakes her head “yes”. (This is really only because she shakes affirmingly at any question she is asked. “Do you want more cereal?” “Yes.” “Do you want a spanking?” “Yes.” With the same enthusiasm). So I pull out the box of Fruit Loops to gauge her reaction. She not only shakes her head yes but begins clapping and laughing.
It hit me. My daughter is a mini me. Oh Lord, does that say something about me if she is “challenging” and supposedly so much like me? She’d rather have the stuff that tastes good than the stuff that’s healthier for her. Can I blame her? How many posts have I talked about, if not lamented, my lack of desire for anything healthy. She gets it honest. Sorry honey. She already asks for sips from our cups because she wants to drink what the big people are drinking. Rarely does mine have water. I keep trying to deny her access because my cup is either filled with sweet tea or Coke. I do not want her started on Coke before I have to. That technique worked with Reagan and she still doesn’t like carbonated beverages to this day. (The word hypocrite is raging through my head right now).
However, I can see into the future (remember that post?). I can just see us fighting over the last Oreo. I can see myself hiding the cokes where she can’t find them so they won’t go missing when I need one desperately. I can just see myself trying to tell her that she needs to eat healthy things and her throwing it back in my face that I don’t eat like that so why should she?
As I was pulling down the box of Fruit Loops to pour her a second bowl, and contemplating how much we are alike, God planted a little thought in my head. Our children really are mini me’s. They see what we do and they mimic us. They see how we eat, act, talk, conduct ourselves, and they do the same. Even more so if we have similar personalities. And why is it that they also seem to like to mimic the bad stuff more than the good? My living needs to be as Godly as possible. I’d much rather her mimic Him than me.
My actions will affect generations to come. Because how Ashlyn becomes so will her children be. We all know we’re a lot more like our parents than we thought we ever would be. I don’t want her growing up desiring to be different than me because I steered her in the wrong direction, with food or any other thing. Parents have a huge responsibility to raise their children. To actually take a proactive role in raising them. And then to try to do it correctly. We rarely see this happen any more. I mean that.
So if you’re needing any motivation to get your butt in gear, and I’m talking to myself here as much as anyone else, remember that your children are watching. And they’re taking it all in. Lord help us.