Saturday, August 16, 2008

Daughters - John Mayer

John Mayer - Daugh...

"So Mothers be good to your daughters too..."

This morning I read a blog post that I can't get our of my brain, and the refrain of John Mayer's song is the background track. While the song is more about fathers and daughters, there is that cautionary reminder in the final line of the chorus.

The blog post was written by a lovely woman I met at a conference a month or so ago, and since then I have been reading her blog. She is not a "super blogger" in the sense of Dooce or her peers, and maybe because of that - and the fact that we seem on first blush to have a fair amount in common - I like reading her posts. I'm not linking to the post I refer to, because I don't in any way want the author to think that I am judging or criticizing her, and while they say that once you put shit out there in the blogosphere it's public domain, it just doesn't feel right.

But here's the gist of the post: Explanation of why distance had been created by blogger and her mom - values, lack of interest in her kids, her life, disappointment. Young daughter asking mom, "why don't we ever see our other grandma? " Mom trying graciously to explain history, hurt and distance in a way that doesn't justify, but is honest. Next line:
My mother died tonight. I'll never get a chance to try to bridge the chasm between us. But I also know in my heart that it was unlikely that the attempt would have made a difference.

That kicked my ass. Wasn't expecting it really. Got me thinking.

The relationship between mothers and daughters is so very complex. I think about the little microcosm here in our house. My relationship with my mom is quite good. She lives a country away, but we email ongoingly, talk every other weekend, share a lot of core beliefs, values, and foibles. Not perfect, and I have disappointments, as I'm sure she does, but we are lucky.

Debbie's relationship with her mom is very good now, but that wasn't always the case. Now they talk daily - mostly because of her Dad's cancer treatment. I have watched Debbie work hard to bridge the differences and hurts and to forgive, if not forget. That is awfully hard to do and I admire her for it. But I also totally get that it is not the best or healthiest path for everyone.

Debbie and Carly's relationship is more of the "modern" type - they laugh, they fight, they make fun of people together. They like the same kind of music (mostly), we know a whole lot about her friends, boys, fears, and accomplishments. As time has gone on, they even play beer pong together. If I had a dollar for every time Carly said, "Mom, you are going to be in the room with me when I give birth," I could buy a bottle of Grey Goose.

I have two goddaughters, and they have two mothers. That presents twice as much opportunity for warmth, support, fun and unconditional love. And of course, 2x as much opportunity for disappointment, and the other yucky stuff. I have confidence the former will be the case, but of course time will tell.

Several of my friends have had girls - ranging in age from 10 to two months. These mothers are 21st century - open, empowered, strong and spectacular (in my humble opinion) , just as i suspect my new blogger friend is. They have the chance to get it "more right." I know they will.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Thanks for writing this.