I wake up in the morning and my ponytail is loose. My shirt has been pulled sideways and my pants are far too high. Strands of hair are down my face and my skin is puffy. As I carry her to change her diaper we stop to giggle in the mirror. I ask her who that girl is and bounce her toward the reflection. She smiles. She giggles. She is happy and it pours from her.
There is a blue-eyed, bald princess with a smile to light up your heart in that mirror. She isn’t smiling at that princess. No. She is smiling at me.
When my arms are empty I peek at the mirror throughout the day. Before leaving for work, as I run off to the store, when I wash my hands, and just before walking out the door for errands, I look at my reflection. I pull my hair around my face, tilt my head forward, and tighten in my stomach. I smile ready for a photograph and examine my face, my hair, my clothes, my body. I notice only imperfections. I don’t see myself as she does.
She doesn’t see any of that. She doesn’t judge a wrinkle or cringe at a grey hair.
My baby sees me. She sees comfort and safety. She sees the love I have for her. She thinks I’m beautiful without ever noticing the things I examine. She makes a small squeal, kicks her legs, and jumps towards the reflection. She loves to look at me.