I have to tell you, God has been affirming me lately in my vocation of motherhood. I have been filled with grace after grace when it comes to Avila, but I also recognize that Avila's holiness is not all my doing. Yes, parents are the first and primary educators of the faith, but God also gives our children certain gifts and calls them in different ways.
I have had this feeling lately that Avila is going to love God from an early age. I know she will have rough patches in her faith, as we all do, but I can see her talking and praying to God in her little girl voice - developing a faith that will be her lifetime foundation.
Avila can recognize Jesus mostly in the crucifix, as we have one by every door in our home, and whenever we enter a room, she looks for him. If she is somewhere where there isn't a crucifix I can tell she is disappointed she didn't find one. She can also recognize Jesus in icons. I don't know how, but whenever we're around one, she says, "Jesus, alla!" (there in Spanish). Maybe it's the bright colors in icons that enables her to remember, but I like to think it's a innate knowledge children have about Jesus, because children are without sin and as holy as one can get on earth. She also recognizes him in Saint statues - but don't ask me how! I never taught her this one.
But my favorite thing recently is how Avila prays. The second I put her in her high chair, without prompting, she will fold her hands and her mouth will move (with nothing coming out!). My heart is overjoyed every time this happens, as my role as a mother and educator is affirmed but also because I see my daughter initiating her own holiness. It reminds me that no joy compares with that of a holy family and that every sacrifice necessary to achieve this is worth it.