Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mannequin in the window

She stands there. Face painted. Body in fixed position. Her clothing changes with the seasons as does the backdrop. She is placed there to influence the buyer. A glance at her good looks and beautiful clothing draws the patron in and the purse open.

I was a child standing with my parents, looking at the dreams I could not have. Did I dream of having more? Did I want to emulate that skinny, well-dressed woman? Life-sized Barbies influencing us more than we realize. I know my mother wanted more than her cotton dresses that had to last year after year. She had no time for the spa or the gym. She had no time or money for dreams in a storefront window.

We are all in a storefront window. Mannequins that stop for moments in our lives, influencing those around us by what they see. We are formed by our religion, our past, our genes. We are examples for the children whose lives we influence.

As my grandchildren grow, I see the parts of us that they mimic. I hear our words that they copy. Some of them we learn to erase from our vocabulary as well as theirs. For me, I see the parts of me that I need to change in order that my grandchildren will not take those bad traits with them. I find that I can bend and shape this person to be something different, someone better. Sometimes those changes create dialogue with my older granddaughters. Sometimes sharing thoughts teach them to be open and honest about their feelings as well.

Of course, we are not mannequins. We make choices in our lives. We can look in that store window and see what we want to see, admiring it and desiring it. (I have a tendency to see the marketing tool used to make more money for the store.) We can look into our hearts and see what is real and important to pass on to our families. We can be more than images with plastic ideals. Those are the dreams worth passing on.

She stand there. Face painted. Body in fixed position......and no heart.

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