I have a cute shadow that seems to follow me around most of the time while her other siblings take a mommy breather to do their own thing. She smiles sheepishly when you call her out in being a little curious busybee following you around while you’re doing simple chores, makes sures she reaches to grab a spoon to help stir the pot in preparing dinner, and she’s the first to grab her shoes to run join you when she hears the jingle of car keys. Our twin daughter Payton is as mother -in -law calls her the “ride or die” kiddo in our pack that pretty much follows you everywhere you go wanting to be apart in some way.
” Can I Help? “
I know that there are some who would find the ” shadow child” in being a tad annoying in not knowing boundaries, but it’s not the case with us. I have my days wanting to have a moment alone like all moms, but she’s a strategic child who knows when to give mommy space as well. She’s not a clingy child at all with her behavior in wanting to be apart. She has somehow found the balance of knowing when to join in observing or participating with Mommy, and she knows when it’s time to give me a little space. She’s very social, enjoys playing with her siblings, and she’s very strong willed in being independent which most wouldn’t place in a personality of being ” Mommy’s shadow” in a child. She mostly comes around to watch me do mundane homemaking tasks later asking if she can help. Her sisters enjoy getting their hair braided, but Payton wants to learn how to braid hair. Everyone in the house enjoys sitting at the table to eat the meal Mommy cooked, but Payton wants to help prepare the meal. She joins me in working with other children in various activities in the community or through outreach. She plays with the other children, may occasionally swipe the phone to check out games, but she finds away to sneak away to join in the activities to help me.
“I Get It From My Mama”
I look at her bright brown eyes determined to be apart even after I say, ” Go join your sisters to play” knowing she gets her curiosity from me. I was the same way with my mom if not more in being the only daughter. It’s a beautiful pay back, and her following me around to learn I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I needed a quick cool down after a long day at work recently. It was probably showing over my face. I laid down quietly on the bed wrapping myself in a comfy blanket to process the day. Mommy’s shadow first instinct was to enter the room to join me in laying down while her sisters played together in the other room. She shocked me by pulling up a chair to end of the bedroom door. She sat quietly in the chair trying not to disturb me while still waiting to see when was the “appropriate time” to enter. I looked at her waiting, and asked her would she like to join me. She eagerly got up to give me a hug, but made herself an “old school” pallet to lay on the floor beside the bed. We quietly watched a movie together without saying a word . My tiny shadow is occasionally a gentle companion letting me know that I am loved, admired for the everyday mommy duties that most take for granted, and someone who will one day pass on to the next generation all she has observed.