Monday, February 21, 2011
Mothers and Daughters
"Will you let me wear this skirt when I get bigger, Mama?" said the little girl to her mother looking admiringly at her mother's clothes. The mother smiled in the affirmative and the years rolled on. The mother read stories to the little girl, she taught her the simple sewing stitches and the the crochet one when the time came. She got the little girl books that she thought the little girl would find interesting and inspiring. She introduced her to art and music and taught her to appreciated the beauty in the world. She filled her daughter's world with things and ideas that she considered good and admirable. She taught her optimism and love of life. She let the little girl become her own person. She encouraged her efforts and was supportive of her dreams and the year rolled on. When others complained about lack of communication or difficulties with their teenagers, the mother couldn't relate, she got along with her teenager just fine. Mother and daughter would talk and drink tea together and laugh and discuss and the years rolled on. I still remember that skirt that my mother had when I was small, it was made out of gray and blue plaid material. I couldn't wait to try on my mother's clothes and my mothers make up. My mother and I, are very different, both in personality and in outlook. And yet, now that I am grown up and have daughters of my own. I see how much I've been formed and influenced by what my mother did for me when I was young. Most of the things that I value today, were planted and nurtured by my parents, mostly by my mother in my childhood. The years rolled on and today I am suddenly the mother in the story. Today, I understand my mother much better than when i was a child. Today, it's my daughter that wants to try on my clothes and my jewelry, my head gear and even my glasses. We are so so different and yet she wants to see the world through my eyes, to get inside my reality and I see from the things that my girls say, that in many ways without me saying things explicitly, they pick up on what I really try to say to them, what I'd really like to convey to them through my mothering. Sometimes my daughters are a mystery to me, often much more so than my sons, and yet from my own mother/daughter experience I see, what profound influence we parents have on our children even when we don't fully understand each other, even when we are very different, even if our childen's paths are not identical to ours, everything we do continues to influence our children for the rest of their lives. It's at once both sobering and encouraging to realize this and I can only pray that as they grow, our relationship should always be that of love and mutual respect and understanding.