I had an excellent, oh-so-deliciously-mommy question put to me this morning. One of those questions that makes you pause and wander in your thoughts to the place where the baby-child is suddenly a grown man bursting through the front door- in town once more for the Holidays.
Here is the question: Imagine if your child were to grow and become an exact mirror-image of you. What things would you want to change about yourself now? For his benefit?
I love questions like these. I love this question in particular, because it gives me another angle, another set of eyes to examine myself with. Me reflected in my son. It helps me put a finger on what qualities I would want Ezra to possess and which qualities I wouldn't want him to touch with a 39 and a half foot pole.
Because, in reality, Ezra will mimic a lot of my behaviors as he grows and discovers who he is. Children are sponges. They learn by example FIRST. Long before the textbooks or tree-hugger cartoons can teach them a thing. (I'm looking at you, Snook...)
When Ezra is all growed up and standing face to face with me, I want to look at him and see a man that knows life is a journey. A journey without a map. No formulas. And all I ask is that he has on a good pair of athletic shoes. And maybe a light jacket in case a breeze picks up...
I find it so hard to honestly examine myself and then, in turn, to motivate myself to change the behaviors I don't want to see my child embrace. (Anyone feel me on this?) Because, really? Who's got the energy for all that? I've been telling myself to GO TO THE GROCERY STORE ALREADY FOR GOSH'S SAKE for three days now! I can't even conjure up the will power to buy food! How am I going to manage to become selfless and humble on top of that mounting pressure?
I want to be a more organized person. I want to be consistent. Less TV. (waste of time). I want to be more sociable and have people in our home more often. I need to get over my inability to call doctors and schedule appointments. I want to eat Healthy. Be a risk-taker. I want to have a heart for people around the world who are suffering and in need. I desire to be generous. I want to really be in love with Jesus.
When all is said and done, I know that I can't really make myself ANYTHING. Experiences and trials and God will have to do that for me. Time and perseverance will have to do that for me. It's a long journey with no sure outcome. But, I think, as long as Ezra can see me desiring change and continually learning and growing all the days of my life, he will have seen and inherited perhaps the most important quality he can posses:
A man who knows and loves the fact that he is (and will always be) a beautiful 'work in progress'.