My Daughter, My Mirror

    “My Daughter, My Mirror,” Ensign, Aug. 1985, 55

    My Daughter, My Mirror

    Her hair is natural honey; she loves winter, loud music, fast food, and high school dances.

    “Don’t you think Mancini would be a soothing change?” I ask her.

    “Who?” she responds.

    I try again with “How’s your English class? I loved English.”

    “Terrible!” she blurts. “I only take English because I have to.”

    We seem so different, my daughter and I. Then I recall her four-year-old frame draped in my favorite pink dress, wearing two rather large mismatched shoes and carrying a black leather purse flung awkwardly over her shoulder. “I need coupons, Mom,” she had said. “I’m going shopping.” I remember giggling at my miniature impersonator.

    From rag dolls and tricycles to formals and the family car, I’ve watched her. She is like a mirror, reflecting my attitudes, repeating my judgments, forcing me to examine my motives. Sometimes she shows me a profile of myself I’d rather not see. Often I feel a desire to live worthier for myself because of her. And when I’ve wished I could take all I have learned and go back ten years to be a better mother, she says, “I hope my daughter has as neat a mom as I’ve had.” Maybe she hasn’t noticed all my mistakes. Or maybe she, too, has learned from them.

    The two of us stand linking our generations in an eternal reflection of teaching, learning, and growing. We travel together toward him in whose likeness we were all made, our Heavenly Father. Vicki Cottrell, West Valley City, Utah

    Photography by Eldon Linschoten