A Daughter’s Love
By Terri White
“Wait for me!” Mary shouted as she raced up the stairs. It was my third home birth and time to push. Because my labor had moved along more quickly than usual, my midwife’s helper had only just arrived. Would our baby enter the world without her gentle touch? So I held back.
Once ready, she zoomed into our bedroom just in time to catch Joy. What a memory! Granted, not your typical experience, but our 1981 healthy sweetheart suffered no ill-effects.
With two older brothers, Joy experienced a rough-and-tumble childhood keeping up with them. If – and that’s an if – they agreed to play house with her, she bossed them around like a pro. Of course, they delighted in disobeying her, dubbing her the “short, little mother”. Big brothers. Need I say more?
While the boys tramped off to explore the woods and creek, she busied herself with her dolls, sewing projects, riding her bike, reading, or her secret hiding place in the woods. Never bored, she always found ways to entertain herself.
The trying teen years flew by with the usual angst. Then I turned around, and she had graduated from college. A young woman on her own in this big world. Feisty. Independent. Opinionated. Strong. My girl.
My bundle of “joy” is aptly named, a bright spot wherever she goes. An avid reader and intellectual to the core, she enjoys stimulating conversations. With the capacity to get to the heart of the matter, she makes a fine therapist. Whether it’s reaching out to a troubled child or an anxious unwed mother, she manages to comfort the brokenhearted.
Now, with a marriage, two children, and a masters’ degree, her life is bursting at the seams. But here’s the deal. She texts and calls regularly. She invites me to lunch. She plans outings for us. She still wants her mom. Still.
Coffee at Mug on the Square. Will you spend the day with me at such-and-such event? Let’s go to the movie. Look! A tulip fest! Let’s go. We need a weekend trip with Susan and Grace Ann (another mom/daughter).
The kids and I are going to the Splash Station. Do you want to join us? Just checking to see how your day is going. The kids and I want to come over for a visit. How was your meeting? Let’s try that new restaurant for lunch. Are you free to workout at Planet Fitness with me?
My generation would never have expected such from their daughters. Even if I had remained in our home town instead of moving a thousand miles away, I doubt that it would have occurred to me to spend this kind of time with my mom. That’s a sad statement. But times change, and our expectations of others change, too. I’m glad.