Look at your reflection and smile. It is a two-way mirror.

From the time Jeremiah was a baby, the moment he wakes I cheerfully say, “Good morning,  sweetheart!” He always smiles back in delight, and I go on to talk to him about the wonderful day ahead. This sets the tone for the day, and every day is a good day. Happy, confident, aggressive, as a toddler and then a small child, he knew his mama loved him. He has grown up so much. Now he is five and I say to him, “Do you know you are the best kid ever?” “Yes!” he says. “I know, Mama. Do you know you are the best Mama ever?” We laugh and hug. I have found I am raising my reflection. Now Penelope Jane has joined our play. She is eight months old and delights in her brother as he does in her. I see my son starting his sister’s day off with a smile as he talks with her and delights in her.

My children reflect everything I do. The way I greet and talk to Daddy; the way I treat others; the way I live life; everything I do, everything I say, they look at me and learn. By the time a child is five years old his brain is 90 percent developed—and his soul is 90 percent developed as well. The heart is well on its way to learning empathy, love, kindness, goodness, gentleness, courage, strength, and steadfastness—or anger, laziness, pouting, envy, greed, and lust.

I look around and I see parents everywhere raising their reflections. Each child is unique, but still reflects who is raising him. I look at myself and I ask, am I what I want my kids to be? “More is caught than taught,” my daddy always says. Your children are your reflection. Look at your reflection and smile. It is a two-way mirror.