mothers and daughters

mel.jpgToday is my daughter’s birthday, and I am feeling so very grateful for the relationship we have, despite her few tumultuous late teen-age years. She has grown into a strong and creative woman of great compassion and sensitivity. Her home is warm and inviting and relaxing. And I’m not saying this just because I had the best Thanksgiving I’ve had in decades and I didn’t have to lift a finger.
I can’t help but compare our relationship with the one I had/have with my own mother. There is even a bigger difference between my relationship with my grandson and my mother’s with my two kids. When my kids were young, a visit from my folks was not something that they would get terribly excited about. I don’t remember my mother ever playing with them or engaging with them in any meaningful way or bringing them any little fun “surprises.” My father was better at understanding how to play, and he reached out to my kids in ways that were fun. I don’t think my mother, to this day, has any concept of “play.”
On the other hand, my grandson looks forward to my visits. (Of course I always bring him a present, and that certainly adds to his anticipation.) We spend most of my days there playing together, imagining, making up stories, and laughing at silly things. My evenings are spent in conversations with my daughter — the kinds of conversations I never had with my mother. My son-in-law and I usually talk politics; my mother barely even spoke to my husband.
And so today, on my daughter’s birthday, I am feeling so very grateful for my daughter and the peace and joy she brings into my life. And I am so very sad that my mother and I have never been able to come even close to feeling like that about each other.
Happy Birthday, Melissa.