A few years back, while my then nine-year-old son and I were scrolling through Facebook together, he saw a new profile picture I’d uploaded.
He asked, “Who is that?”
I responded, “Um…. it’s me.”
“Well,” he said, quite matter-of-factly, “I don’t like that picture.”
He thought for a minute and said, “I like the pictures that show how you look on our farm.”
What he meant was how I normally look.
You know, when my hair isn’t done and I’m not wearing makeup and I’ve probably skipped my shower. When I’m wearing a hat or bandana on my head and there’s hay or mud or God knows what hanging off my clothes. And I’m sweaty. Kinda more like this:
You know, normal everyday me.
We continued scrolling through Facebook and checking out links and never talked anymore about my newly uploaded profile picture. But his comment got me thinking about how our kids see us.
We always want to put our best foot forward. We want to make sure people see us in the brightest, most ravishing light. We want them to catch us at our finest, when we said and did the right thing and looked pretty darn good while doing it.
But to our kids, that’s not us.
Well, that’s not the complete us. And we have to remember our kids see the all of us. The whole person. The total package. The person who drops stuff and swears when it breaks. The person who gets crabby and depressed. The person who yells for no reason. The person who didn’t get enough sleep the night before and looks like a truck ran them over. The person who makes mistakes. (Oh gosh, the mistakes they see.) Our kids see the person who is sick with the flu, who blows up about little stuff, who kicks the dog or freaks out at the cat…
And you know what? Despite all those ugly (but very real) things, our kids still love us. That is all part of the mom or dad that they know. That’s what they see.
My kids rarely see me looking like I do in my Facebook profile pictures. Here I sit trying to get things “just so” for a picture, and it’s so far from how my kids normally see me, they have to ask “Is that…(gasp) you?”
But it’s ok. Although it’s sometimes fun to get out of my barn clothes and do my hair and actually put on makeup, I know it’s not really how my kids see me. Because in the middle of the night when they are sick or have had a bad dream or need to discuss whatever is weighing on their mind…I’m a total mess. My jammies don’t match, my hair is all tangled and my face is only half awake.
But I’m there when they need me.
And that’s the mom they see.
That’s the mom they know. 🙂