Sunday, April 26, 2009


If you want to learn something about yourself, have a child. It won't take long, you'll see. You'll be going about your business when you'll suddenly realize your child is saying what you say (and it better be good), using gestures you use (also better be good), trying to discipline others like you do, and making noises you didn't know you made. It will open your eyes to yourself in a brand new way, I promise you.

A classic example, is my frustrated growl. I never realized I made such a growl, until Hazel started doing it multiple times a day, when I'd ask her to do something she didn't want to do. It made me laugh the first few times she did it--where did she come up with that? And then, I figured it out. When I noticed I was doing it time and again--after spills, when trying to make it somewhere on time behind three shoeless wanderers, or when my keys were missing (again). Hazel's frustrated growl came from me--and perhaps my mother, and her mother, and so on.

This copying has happened continuously since then, with Hazel and now Parley, and even Julian--who seems to watch my every move. It is a most careful job I have. So very careful.

But beyond this outward copying, is the deep and inner copy of my DNA in these little people. It has become quite clear to me that my Hazel is a smaller and prettier version of me (with, you know, artistic talent and other Jed-ness too). I know that little girl so well--because I've been her mother for almost six years, but maybe even more because I've been that little girl for almost thirty.

My goodness I love that Hazey. How full of senses she is! She feels so deeply. She is strictly obedient and feels sorrow to her core. She loves and is loyal. She will stick up for her brothers. She needs to feel accepted, acceptable.

It won't be long and she'll be asked to play by two friends on the same day. She will cry and not want to make a decision fearing to hurt feelings. It will break her heart to miss one on her spelling test. She will attend a baptism at 10 years old and cry throughout the song she sings with her cousins. She will dread priesthood blessings from her father because her emotions are so close to the surface--she'll certainly cry. She will feel guilty for years for putting an extra marble in the marble jar in sixth grade as a dare by her friends. She will want to please her teachers, her parents, her friends. She'll find herself unable to do so sometimes, and it will hurt her. She will, above all, want to be good.

I have wondered, what do I tell her? What can I tell her? How would I want to change, and what would I want to stay the same? Part of me wants to warn her, to help her avoid feelings of anxiety and guilt--to conquer them. But the other part of me knows that these feelings, in a big way, have actually made up the good parts of me.

And so I watch. And I learn. And learn and learn. When she tells me she's sorry fifteen times for being a little too gruff with Parley, I understand. She is sorry. So sorry. And when the temptation comes to be frustrated at her incessant apologies, I remember. At 29, I don't always say, 'I'm sorry' fifteen times, but I feel it. Maybe even 1,000 times I feel it. And I can't help but feel that God has given her to me, to help me learn about myself. And in helping her, I can see how He continually helps me.


emlizalmo said...

This is beautiful. SHE is beautiful. She will grow up as a confident, happy child with you 2 as her parents. That's a sure thing.

Shana said...

Well done, Jaynie. My neighbor told me that Serena threatened her son that if he didn't pay attention to the rules for the walking group, she'd have her mom throw him out of the charter school. While I was a bit embarrassed, I was also secretly a little bit proud of her and figured that the fruit doesn't fall very far from the tree, right? Is that good or bad? It's both I guess. Beautiful ideas and so familiar. Love you, Shana

Kelly said...

Wonderful post!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me cry today, Jayne. I am a sap and I have no idea where it comes from.

You are so lucky to have Hazey and she is lucky to have you as a mother.

You sure are blessed! :) Kim~Ohio

YellowMutt said...

What a beautiful post with great pictures. How wonderful for her to have such an insightful mother, and you for having such a creative, empathetic daughter. I hope to have that someday. You are very blessed. :-)

janaya said...

it's been awhile since i've dropped a comment, but this post was just too great to go un-commented. beautiful. lovely.

c jane said...

Guess who is crying now?


thanks Jayne. beautiful.

lori said...

Jayne - I was happy to find a link to your blog and to read this really sweet post! You are such an exemplary friend! Sure love rubbing shoulders with you at church (and watching your DARLING kids - that picture of Hazel is beautiful!)!

Rebecca said...

What an amazing post! This brought back so many emotions of being a child and yet at the same time now we are on the other side. Incredible! Don't you just love being a mom? Thanks for the is just what I needed today!

megan said...

Good to see you today! I would have told you in person that I loved this post, but I would have talked too long then, and I was in a hurry!

I have to admit I am kind of afraid to look into my children and see myself--I always see the more negative parts of them as coming from me (especially the sulky anger and fear of having broken a rule to the point of um..tweaking the truth) . But there is a lot more of positive too, especially the desire to be good, and most importantly, I can be more aware of them watching and learning from me now. I'll have to work on saying more reasonable things!
You are an amazing mother, and I am inspired by you--and how you relate to and interact with your kids--all the time. Thank you for writing this post, Jayne. And I can't believe how much Hazel looks like you!
(sorry for the long comment, again.)

Lindsey said...

Best post ever. You and Hazel certainly are blessed to have eachother. I love you both so much and miss you terribly.

Lisa said...



Anonymous said...

Could she maybe teach my son to say sorry once? I say sorry. Where did he get that! I love that little Hazey. Hazey, sorry Atticus opened your bubble blaster. I am sure you didn't get the sorry you deserved.

Aunt Katie

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm, I wish I would have written that about my daughter....Jaynie! I am so blessed to be her mother and to be Hazel's grandmother. They ARE beautiful.
Mama Lisa

Lady Bug Beck said...

Simply wonderful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Motherhood with us.
Nicole Beck

Hannah :) said...

Aww I loved this.