Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Do

This is all a little scatter-brained, I'll probably be able to come back in a few days and properly edit it, but I felt I needed to get this out there, on "paper" before I forget :]

Ever had a scent throw you back into a specific moment in time? Sometimes when I smell cigarette smoke I get thrown right back into being 5 years old in Aransas Pass. My mom's hair is up in stinky Aquanet covered rollers as she stands in front of her mirror squinting to see if her make up is even through the smoke coming from the cig hanging from her lip. I remember the lighting of her bathroom, the pallet of eyeshadow and blush colors splayed out on her counter top, the way she looked so glamorous even though only one of her eyes were finished, and her lip liner wasn't filled in with lipstick yet. Before I know it, I feel like I'm sitting on the toilet behind her, swinging my legs, hoping one day I'd be as beautiful as my mommy.

The funniest thing happened a few days ago.
I was doing my hair and make up in the bathroom as Lily was running back and forth between Eamon and me, asking questions that we don't yet understand. My hair was still a little wet, so when I ran my straightener through it, the nasty smell of burnt hair filled the bathroom. I put down the straightener to wait a little longer for my hair to dry and started putting on my eyeshadow just the way my mom taught me. I looked down, and there Lily was with an eyeliner stick, squinting her eyes, trying to be brave enough to get the pencil close enough to her eye to get that "smoky Hollywood eye" all of her other baby friends are sporting...or something like that. Of course I took it away from her [blind babies are a little harder to deal with, I hear] but I couldn't help smiling as I thought about the never ending cycle of little girls trying to be like their mamas.

Lily a few months ago in her first make up attempt. 

Shaping my heart in order to shape Lily's has been/will be one of the biggest challenges I've faced in being a mom. For years my goal was to be whatever my mom was not. It was to rise above my mom's "inadequacies" in order to be the "perfect woman" that she wasn't. The foolishness in that is only recently apparent to me, but never-the-less, I never want Lily to go through that. In preparing for baby number two, I've had more time to prepare my heart as a mom, where as last time, I was preparing my body. I think this might be something that some of the women in my family had much less time to do, but took much longer to do.

 The more Lily tries on my bras, wears my shirts as dresses, and covers her face in make up, I start to wonder what kind of mom she thinks I am and how that will effect the kind of mom she is. I tend to remember my mom's faults more than I should, as I'm sure she did too. Will Lily remember that I go to kiss Eamon every time he comes home, or will she remember how sometimes I bark his name like I'm getting on to Rusty? Will she remember all of the times I sit with my bible praying over her or a friend, or will she remember how many times I curse our neighbors for listening to gangster rap in the parking lot? Being a "biblical mom" is exhausting most days, but I've got to understand that if Lily is already mimicking my physical appearance, it won't be long before her heart reflects mine.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.