Posted by: coachingparents | November 22, 2007

An Uncommon Reflection of Children


“While we try to teach our children about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” –Angela Schwindt

I have heard it said that being a parent or being married are each, in their own right, one of the toughest jobs on earth.  Imagine combining two of the most difficult jobs on earth and you’ve downright earned a masters degree in life.  I have also heard it said (by the beloved Bill Cosby) you are not a parent unless you have had more than one child.  Now, that is in no way stated to demean the parent or couple who has one child or who could only have one child.  If I were to surmise what he meant, it would be- in less you have the differing personalities of multiple children, you can’t imagine how two (or more) tiny beings brought into the world by the same two people could be so different.

I often marvel at the traits and characteristics my children reflect back at both my husband and myself.  From day one, our oldest son has heard “you are a spitten image of your father,” our youngest son and daughter often hear they are replicas of me.  In the likeness of appearance I also notice a likeness in mannerisms, attitude, mistakes, personality, habits, and so on.  I have even wondered at times if a certain child isn’t born to a couple with the express purpose of entering the family for a specific parent.  Observing my three children would certainly quantify this theory.  My oldest is a mirror image of all of that my husband embodies which often leads to conflict between father and son.  My two youngest are the mirror image of so many of my qualities and characteristics and I have even judged the relationship between us all seeing one child as the lesson for my husband and our other two as my reflection for this lifetime.  This theory and its judgments however, were about to be tested.

I spent the better part of a day yipping and yapping at my husband about all of the unfinished chores around our house and yard.  I made my way to our shed to store bins of clothes my kids had outgrown only to be faced with total chaos.  All of the boxes from Christmas were thrown into the shed lacking any kind of organization.  I looked at the mess and fumed over my husband’s words echoing in my head- there is no more room in the shed for things.  I knew there was plenty of room, because no less than twice a year I make an attempt to organize all of the clutter.  He however, chooses to toss things inside without giving thought to the big picture- our need for storage.  From the shed, I glanced around our untidy backyard and from there it was a downhill slope.  I ranted and raved about looking like Sanford and Sons and cursed the way he yaps at the boys for never taking care of their things.  I reminded him later that day that our boys model their father and well, he is not the take care of things sort of example.  By bedtime I think I spewed all of the verbal rants I could, but turned the light off only to continue turning the day in my mind.  My thoughts lead to the way my husband’s parents often treat each another.  I gave thought to how he was treated as a child which led to how he sometimes treats our oldest son and that made me upset too. And while my mind continued to turn the wheel of discontent, an image of our son came into my head.  An image of his smiling face and laughter, and his obvious need for harmony between his parents.  Of the three of our children, our oldest most aligns with the energy of what is going on between my husband and I. I thought about the one thing that damaged my husband most while he was growing up.  It was the constant nitpicking his parents did to one another and my reflection was given back to me by the very child I assumed was here to teach my husband.

It occurred to me that although my son and I don’t often reflect much back at one another (we are very much alike and we tend to get each other) he did offer me an uncommon reflection which resulted in a mirror between my husband and I.  My heart began to swell as I thought about all of the reasons I adore my husband and how much our son adores both of us.  In that moment I recognized what a gift it was to have a soul among us who could offer advice and insight into the things we chose to come here to work on in this lifetime together.  How even though in the physical world he is our son, in the spirit world he is our reflection.  Only moments after this new found wisdom, my son came out of his room to go to the bathroom.  I was in total awe.  In that moment I knew his soul had been communicating with me and in only moments he would confirm that by getting up to go to the bathroom.  Like he does every night, he came in to get me to turn off the hall light.  He had just had his hair cut earlier that day and when he entered our dark room, his silhouette was a spitten image of my husband.  I was in awe as I followed him to turn off the light.  I had become aware of my lesson for the day and it appeared in an uncommon reflection from my son.

©Tara Paterson, All Rights Reserved

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