The Up-shot Angle of a Child’s View

Lil Bit: Mama, I made you a bowl of soup, so you don’t forget to eat lunch. I made the chips look like a rose!

Sometimes we underestimate their awareness, the small things that they take note of.

It is as if from that lower vantage point they see us in such an exalted light at times, but they also… well, they have a good view of our bad side, too.  Up-shots are often artistic but rarely flattering. Ask any photographer.  It’s a hard angle to pull off, and it’s basically the the only one our kids get, when we are busy and moving about life.

Lil Bit: Mama, I made you a bowl of soup, so you don’t forget to eat lunch. I made the chips look like a rose!

She knows my habits and character. I cannot deny that. This sweet daughter of mine saw a need and an opportunity to serve me, as I was not caring for myself, and for that I am immensely glad.

Still, there is another message I was sending, and that angle wasn’t really great. That up-shot angle can be tricky and we sometimes forget that their little camera is always running, taking it in.

What she learned is a potential future, and what the role of a mother can look like.  That moms don’t feed our care for themselves. That they lose sight of their own needs, not just in happy sacrifice, but even in downright, oblivious disregard for their own bodies at times.

Wait that’s not what I want her learning. That’s not motherhood at all. That’s not me.

Moms don’t take care of themselves. Moms ignore the needs of their bodies, and healthy nourishment.  I wish I could say this message only applies to food, but that would be a lie. I’m going to tell you why.
She doesn’t see me pray enough.
It’s not that I don’t pray, it’s that I do it so privately. It occurs to me now that they don’t even often know that I have private prayers, on top of what we do as a family.
She doesn’t see me read anything fun, because all my reading is educational, training, pressing in for more. Never to just be.  Will I want her to always press so hard?
She doesn’t see my hobbies or dreams, because I crowded them out with other tasks to do. Where will her dreams go, the ones we are working so hard to nurture in here now?

Our life is good and full. We play board games, we roam, we invent, we build and plan our farm, we dream and work as a team. We live well and we love hard. Togetherness is our thing and it is downright glorious.But my daughter isn’t seeing my full potential, because I’m not living it. Heck, she hasn’t even seen me write.
What could she see as her own future potential, when she reads between my lines and margins, to see what matters to me and what I’m willing to invest there? Will she know how to invest in HER? How will she know to chase her dreams, and know that she is fully capable of doing it?

So here I am, friends. I’m invested.
She sees me.
She’s looking up.
She’s not even the only one.What dream do you want your child to catch you chasing, to see in their up-shot view of who Mom is?
Share it with me!

4 Replies to “The Up-shot Angle of a Child’s View”

  1. Ugh! This is so good and challenging! I’ve thought about the prayer thing many times! I pray all day but also like you, very privately. Of course we pray together for ambulances that drive by, daddy at work, the sick friend…. But that’s very sporadic. How do I show my kids the “pray without ceasing” that is going on in my soul. They rarely heart me pray is not even daily! I haven’t even formed a nighttime or morning routine with them to pray. It’s not so much a discipline I want them to learn but a relationship I want them to witness.

  2. Wow! And ouch a little. I have consciously modeled the blessing of a faithful God seeking marriage, wanting it to be somthing worth wanting and striving for in their minds. I model encouragement wanting their words to bring love and life. I model nurture because well Momma does nurture. But the days my 15 yr old doesn’t think she would like being a Momma there really is a reason. She is seeing my tired, my last priority on my own list, my frazzled, my always one more thing to do. Lord let me show my joy, my fulfillment , my can’t imagine doing anything else this wonderful!! And remind me to take as good of care of myself as I want her to take of her beautiful wonderful future self.

  3. I’ve also been working on prayer. It’s always been a struggle for me and so I’ve been making little changes and habits to work more toward a praying life. But I want my kids to see that – not just me by myself – but with them. I tend to want to keep myself private – and I need to be more open.

  4. The only thing I really care for my kids to see in me is a love for Christ. All other things: hobbies, interests, activities, vastly pale in comparison. So I’ve been trying to instill more habits of prayer and focusing on God and his word both publicly (where my kids can see me I mean) and privately. I can only do any of these things with God’s help and strength, and it’s a struggle to not resort back to trying all these things alone.

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