There’s a mirror hanging next to the doorway of his nursery. Every time we leave his room, after a change or a nap or a onesie folding date, I shift his weight on my hip and point his gaze towards his reflection. He beams. Sometimes, he gets so excited he buries his face into my chest in a shrill giggle. These are my favorite moments of every day.⠀

Months ago, when he first recognized himself in the mirror, he gazed back with hesitant wonder. Peering at me confused, I smiled encouragingly back at him. “That’s YOU, buddy! That’s you!” When he looked back, he smiled at himself.⠀

When we have these little mirror pep talks, it often crosses my mind that one day, that delight will likely wither. One day, someone will fling a comment his way on the war zone that can be the school cafeteria. One day, someone will not invite him to their 7th birthday party. One day, he will be told, through words or actions, he’s “too much”. Or he’s “not enough.”⠀

I never used to smile so much in front of a mirror in my life. Most often, I met my gaze with grunts & groans and pinches to certain areas of my face and body. But in these last six months of having a constant mini audience in James, being aware of how I look back at that reflection and trying to delight in it has been changing me.⠀

We are not too much. We are not too open. We are not too honest. Not too joyful. And we are not not enough, either. We are just enough. Cafeteria comments turn⠀
into homecoming date chatter turn into job interview results turn into diagnosis results turn into harder & harder earthly situations that look back at us in the mirror and say, “Eek. Nope. No shrill shriek of joy here, sister. Move along.” The older we get, the more the world will try to shake us into the trenches of finding darn near no delight in ourselves. But this little man reminds me every day: He is enough. I’ve never questioned how enough he is. And just the same, so am I. And just the same, so are you. ❣️(Psalm 139: 13-14)⠀

PS: Mini audience or not, start smiling back at your reflection. That delight & acceptance might start to show up in unexpected and deeply needed ways, far beyond how you view your reflection.

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