Without a doubt, my four-year-old daughter is my role model.
Not that long ago, I discovered something broken in my studio (I am a professional illustrator) and I was certain that my daughter was responsible, despite her repeated denials. At this time in her life, she had recently discovered that lying could be used beneficially to get certain things. Lying had become a regular habit for her.
I did not believe her story and decided that discipline must be administered swiftly. As a parent, I knew my duty and she was punished accordingly.
Several weeks passed and I discovered, to my horror, that she was indeed NOT responsible for the breakage. As a parent, I felt just terrible about wrongly disciplining her. As a human being, I knew that I must apologize to her immediately.
I summoned her to her bedroom where I sat on the edge of her sister's bed while she sat on the edge of her bed facing me. I stammered, I stumbled, I was suddenly at a loss for words. A few words made it out past my lips but I was not communicating clearly what I longed to say. How does one explain this to a four-year-old?
In spite of my sudden loss for words, this sweet, perceptive and loving four-year-old child was able to quickly discern what I was trying to say. Immediately, she jumped from her bed and stood next to me where I was still sitting on her sister's bed. She wrapped her sweet, compassionate arms tightly around my neck and whispered in my ear, "It's OK, Daddy. You don't need to say you're sorry. I love you."
I simply broke down. What a sweet moment. I had experienced true, unconditional love - from a child. Yes, she is my role model. I try to pass that love on to others each and every day. Oh that there were more role models like her in the world. :)