My Reflection

This week was one for the books in The Modlin Homestead. For the first time, our hens hatched a pair of chicks. All of my children were completely smitten with these babies and the entire experience. Even the two year old, we’ve affectionately named The Jalonator,  couldn’t stop the ooohs and aaahs. I loved the way each child was drawn into the process of a new life joining the world and how much concern they had for the viability of each chick trying to hatch. If you’ve ever experienced the hatching of any oviparous animal, you Know what I mean when I say, it is a painstaking process. I was happy to see them so interested over a long period of time.

 

 

While we were schooling in the house, every hour one of my children would exclaim, ” We better go check on the chicks!”. We’d  all agree and head down to the coop to see what progress, if any, was made. This went on all day until we finally came out one last time to the baby chick emerging with the help of the mama hen. We were so excited, and I was particularly entranced with the way this mom knew what to do. As the baby was half way out of it’s shell the mama hen would peck away at some of the pieces. It was amazing to watch the nature in which God created these animals. My daughter and I were crouched down watching intently, and every once in a while we would look at each other– in a “Look at this baby chick and it’s mom, they’re doing it!” kind of way. If you ever get a chance to chat with Briella and ask her what she’d like to be when she grows up, she’ll tell you she’s going to be a midwife. So things surrounding the birth of any kind really gets her attention, and I absolutely love this about her.

 

 

Briella is my first daughter following the birth of our three sons. The day I found out we would be blessed with a girl, I couldn’t contain my tears. I adore my boys, but I just couldn’t wait to have a baby I’d be able to doll-up. I daydreamt of all things pink, pedicures, bows, and to find a best friend in her when she became a woman. I was so ready! When she was born, it wouldn’t be more than a couple of hours before nurses from different floors were coming into my room to witness the baby girl that was wearing a pink bow bigger than her head. 

 

She’s six years old now, and I’ve enjoyed every milestone with her thus far. We’ve already had many pedicures together, mother daughter dates, Target hauls, and she’s witnessed a couple of her siblings come into the world. It has far exceeded my expectations of what I thought it would be like, but the  one thing I never expected in this journey was the fear of my daughter being like me.
 Somehow, I’d created this image before she even joined our family– it was an image of sweetness, soft spokenness, and compassion. Those were words I would have never used in describing myself, but it was exactly who my daughter was her first four years. Yet, as she grew older, her timid ways were slowly fading. She was becoming her own person, and in my eyes her “own person” was very reminiscent of myself. It was the first time I was having to take a rigid look at my reflection. 
Growing up I was labeled as the one with the strong character, the one to never back down– I was quick to cut people out of my life and slow to say I’m sorry. I always admired those sweet girls that seemed as though anger was a distant relative, but those characteristics were not my own. I found myself correcting every gesture and attitude that had the slightest hint of me in my daughter. It made me sad to think she would be faced with similar stigmas. And while I never thought someone telling her, “You’re just like your mom” would make me feel as if they were putting her down– it did. And so I set out to make some very serious changes in myself. The reality was, it wasn’t necessary for me to keep up with the old Jenn. I was no longer attempting to prove myself as a young, single mother. And more importantly, I was redeemed by a God I came to know and love. He would be the one to fight my battles now.
Over the last few years I’ve realized how different I am. Change is a very slow process, and it can often times be overlooked–particularly when you’re an adult. Although, I never wanted to lose all of who Jenn was. That Jenn was fierce, it made her an over-comer of many obstacles and a survivor of circumstance. I’m not sure the current Jenn would come out of that life the same way. I will forever be thankful for “her”.
The fact that your children’s negative attributes are a mirror image to your own is a hard truth. I was attempting  to change my daughter, but in reality it was me I was seeking to change. I’ve  slowly come to realize, Briella “being just like her mom” may not be so bad after all, and I’m not sure she was ever “just like me”. When I look at Briella I do see a compassionate, beautiful, sweet girl, but she’s also fearless, selfless, passionate, and she loves with her entire self– I like to think those last few came from me, and that is a reminder of God’s grace in my life every single day.
Jenn

 

 

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