Saturday, December 22, 2012

Being the Mom of a Daughter

There are two things every little girl dreams about.  The first thing she dreams about is marrying the man of her dreams.  Her so called prince charming.  The man who is not only handsome as hell but will take care of her, listens to her, and can do song duets on a whim.  Thanks a lot Disney.

The second thing every little girl dreams of is having a little girl of her own.

As a baby, she will dreamily look into her mom's eyes while she is being fed.  As a toddler she will wear beautiful dresses, let mom curl her hair in perfect ringlets and look into her mom's eyes with adoration.  As a child, she will try hard in school and dream about being exactly like her mom and marrying a man exactly like her dad.  As an adolescent, she will tell her mom all of the juicy gossip from school and they will wind down at the end of the week in their pajamas watching chick flicks, sharing popcorn and giggles.

Unfortunately most little girls dreams end up not being quite like they envisioned as they get older.  Yes she gets married.   He's not prince charming but he's good enough.  They have a couple of kids.  If she's lucky, she is blessed with a little girl.  But she's not exactly angelic.  As a baby, she has reflux and spits up after being fed, while her beet red squished up face is convulsing with tears.  As a toddler, she has dramatic fits, often ending in spasms on the floor of the supermarket that would make any Southern Baptist proud.  As a child, she does adequate work in school and vows never to be anything like her mom.  She wears what she thinks looks good, disregarding her mom's advice that stripes and polka dots, in different color families, do not indeed match.  She slams doors and screams, exclaiming how much she hates her life and especially her mother.  As an adolescent she constantly puts her mom down making sure to tell her about her faults and none of her attributes. She tells her mom enough about her personal life to keep her mom from prodding but most of it is a fabrication of the actual truth.  She is too busy to hang out with her mother preferring instead to go out with her friends whenever possible and when not possible, texing, Skyping and IM'ing them.  She is the epitome of drama. She still slams doors, just a little bit harder than before, and this time locking them, still exclaiming how much her mom is ruining her life. 

Mom of course loves her regardless of her moods, her drama, her temper tantrums.  Mom never wants her daughter to feel as though she's supposed to be anything.  She never buys the "too cute to learn" t-shirts (yes folks, that's real).  She dresses her in things that are in style, but not trashy.  She encourages her to learn and do her absolute best in school, and to be her own person and for God's sake, to stop watching those Disney movies where all a girl needs to do is be petite and pretty and she can have anything she wants.  She also wants to censor magazines and TV and commercials and every other modern day media that portrays women in impossible to achieve ways.  But she doesn't, because she doesn't believe censorship is a positive thing.  She feels that having an open relationship with her daughter is the best choice.  If only her daughter would let her in, if only her daughter would communicate with her. 

And when she goes to bed, mom cries and wonders what she could be doing better, worries that the daughter will make bad decisions.  She'll end up on Pregnant and 16.  She'll end up a drug addict.  She'll end up a prostitute, stripper, mistress.  Someone who is not respected for her intellect.  Someone who is only regarded for her physical attributes.  Which always leads to trouble.   Mom will lose sleep, wondering how to prevent her perfect angel from falling into that trap.  Mom daydreams about her daughter's prince charming.  Her daughter's daughters.   She prays to God, even if she's not religious, to give her daughter a better life than she had.

"Please God", mom prays at night when no one is listening, "Make her have self respect.  Make her better than me.  Make her intelligent, but God, make sure she knows she's intelligent.  Give her lovely children.  Give her a lovely husband who worships the ground she walks on.  Please God.  Give her those things. I don't ask for much.  Thank you God.  Amen." 

1 comment:

  1. Oh honey.

    We've both had a tough go of it. We only want what for our girls, what we didn't have.

    Sometimes, our expectations are too high.

    It's all good in the end, because we do the best we can. And...even though it's hard to see and hard to believe, our Mom's did too.

    I love you man!