A few weeks ago I found myself crying in my car as I listened to a CNN news story about a Richmond prison that held a Father/Daughter Dance. The daughters of inmates were invited to come to the prison to share a special evening with their dads. As I listened to Lisa Ling narrate the event, I was particularly touched by the parting gift each dad gave to their daughter before they left. It was a mirror. On the mirror these dads wrote all sorts of wonderful, positive words to their daughters. "When you look in the mirror, I hope you see..."
Most people look in the mirror to find their weaknesses. The pimple, the gray hair that needs to be covered, the bags under the eyes. It's hard to look directly in the mirror and just smile because you know someone cares about you. These daughters of the prisoners took home a mirror that they could look at every single day. The reflection may change as they grow older but the thoughtful words, written with a Sharpie, would never change. Their dads would feel this way about them permanently.
Using Crayola crayons specially made to write on mirrors, I write little messages to my kids, my hub and even my house guests (if they are here for a holiday). It's a fun way to start the day and let them know, I'm thinking of them. Back in the day using lipstick was a fun way to leave a love note for your honey. Fast forward to these days: I'm searching for a whole collection of these mirror crayons so I can create more images. With only black, yellow, green, red and blue crayons I'm sort of limited with what I can do. But I make it work. I would love crayons that were skin color, orange, white, pink and purple. Hello? It's hard to cheer on the Vikings without a purple mirror crayon!
Since you are thoughtful (obviously), chances are you already write on mirrors so this concept is nothing new. But if you haven't written on a mirror, maybe you're ready try it out. Being an artist, a poet or someone who likes to quote JFK or Maya Angelou is not a requirement. Take a couple of minutes to leave a note on a mirror for someone to find. It doesn't have to be a full on commitment or an every holiday thing to add to your "to do" list. It's just a non-burdening, inexpensive, washable pinch that is thoughtful and positive.
The gift of a mirror is unique. I carry around this pocket mirror that my thoughtful cousin gave me 12.5 years ago for a bridal gift. She had it engraved with my shiny, new monogram. Sure, nowadays there's a mirror app on our smart phones but I still carry this mirror in my purse. Nothing can take the place of a real mirror's reflection. What a wonderful gift to give someone who will be starting something new - getting married, going off to college, starting a new career, becoming a mom for the first time, becoming a grandmother for the first time, retiring etc. A new path in life could possibly have a new reflection in the mirror. It's pinch that is timeless.
"Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" Wait a minute. Stop. Let's do a remake of the fairy tale, shall we? Put a halt on all the comparing and competing crap. Our mirrors will give positive, thoughtful feedback. We can start a trend. We could make people genuinely smile because people everywhere could write a note, draw a picture or quote a bad-ass former president on a mirror. This could be big. This could be the next best thing. Hey entrepreneurs, I smell a perfect opportunity to sell mirror message Emojis.
All joking aside, sometime today or tonight, take a good long look into a mirror. Think about what your special grown up would write to you - with a Sharpie - on your mirror. What would they hope you see? What is the permanent message they would never want you to forget? I am willing to bet that the message never mentions a pimple, gray hair or bags under the eyes.