Sunday, 18 March 2007

And She's Mine

I read the lyrical descriptions in the mommy blogs about the things the little ones are doing and saying -- a garden of nna mmoy's 'Frances Fridays', for example or Under the Mad Hat's 'A Little Joy'. I smile and think 'Yeah, I remember that, that watching and recording with bemused delight.' But Younger Daughter came to stay with us overnight, and as the weekend wore on I realized that it never stops. I still watch her and delight in her, in the musical way she speaks, in the whirlwind she creates in my kitchen as she makes Sunday brunch, in the shine of sunlight on her hair, in her enthusiasm for life and adventure. I think it never stops, the wonder and pride and joy.

Not that the YD makes my life a bed of roses, or anything. She and a group of her friends went on a whitewater canoeing trip last month and she brought all the photos out to show me. It's one thing to see shots of her running rapids -- I know she's a strong swimmer and skilled paddler.

It's the waterfalls they were running that raised the hair on my head. What there is left of it. The YD is an adrenaline junkie; she has also enjoyed mountain climbing, rappelling out of a helicopter, bungee jumping and hiking in the African desert and has brought home photos and videos of every escapade for her parents to enjoy. When she decided to try parachuting, she took me along to photograph the event. And that's her leisure moments. Don't get me started on her job! Or the places she thinks make fine vacation destinations.

What is really odd is that I don't worry excessively about her physical safety. She was a sturdy, healthy child and has always shown both stamina and the ability to bounce back from reverses. She is, for all the wild things she does, knowlegeable and careful in planning, and she has the best equipment she can find. She's tough. And she's mine! And now that she's gone home, I guess I can go and put the kitchen in order.


  1. I didn't have a true appreciation of how much my mother loves me until I became a mother myself, but I think I still don't quite get it sometimes.

    I remember when Maya was 3, she had her little heart broken by an dopey babysitter, and I was so miserable to see her misery. So of course, I phoned *my* mother and asked her, "When does it reach the point that it doesn't hurt so much, to see your child in emotional pain?" She said, "I'll let you know when that happens." It was quite a shock to me. Mothering never stops, does it?

    Nice description of YD, by the way. I bet she'd appreciate it.

  2. I don't think mothering ever stops, no. In some ways it gets harder. I promised the daughters that when they were 21 I would stop bringing them up and I have tried to hold to it. But. I have toothmarks in my tongue some days.

    You think?

  3. What a nice thing to write for/about your daughter. I look forward to these moments...when she's ours but not ours at the same time (but I don't want them to come tooo quickly).

    Thank you, once again, for your thoughtful perspective.

  4. 'I dont want them to come too quickly'. When the bottomless stomach is sounding off every two or three hours and sleep is a distant memory, you think this will last forever. Then time speeds up and like Miss Clavell goes fast and faster and pretty soon you are left with a room full of stuff with no one in it. And it seems as if it all happened at once.
    Sometimes the fledged chick lights on the nest long enough to take some stuff away, and you cherish the moments.
    When all the stuff is gone, I'm not sure what happens because I still have a lot. I threaten the YD with death and dismemberment, but I still have her stuff. And the OD's, come to think of it.

  5. This is so beautiful. I'm glad you feel at home among all us newbie mommies. ;)

  6. Beautiful. The photos and the words, your description of her strength and your love.