I have a little framed artsy-looking saying on my dresser that says something like "The best thing about being mother and daughter is one day you realize you have turned into friends". I am too lazy to walk into the bedroom and read it so I could post it word for word, but you get the gist of it. I wish every mother and every daughter could live out that sentiment.
I know there are mothers without daughters, and daughters without mothers. And some of the ones who do have each other sometimes (or all of the time) wish they didn't. Sometimes all of that femininity and estrogen just clash day after day and the relationship just doesn't work. And sometimes even the best mother-daughter relationships will have struggles. There are some of us, though, who are blessed to truly be friends with our mothers.
I don't mean to paint a picture rosier than it actually is. Mom and I have had our differences. I was not always the easiest teenaged daughter to raise (or the easiest twenty-something daughter). There were times when I loved my mother and times when I really really resented even the idea of her. I knew what I wanted and what I was doing and how dare she say otherwise. I'd like to think that every child, male and female, feels like that at some point, though, so I don't have to look back and think how exceptionally rotten I was. I believe I'm going to remove K's bedroom door before she turns into a teenager so I can avoid the "go to my room and slam the door" fiasco that most girls perfect at some point. I know that every fight and every tantrum and every mom/daughter battle in our future will be worth it if K and I turn out to have a friendship like I have with my mom.
I think that maturity, as well as motherhood, have made me a better daughter. I appreciate my mom, I have fun with her. I like her. Do we always see eye to eye? No. Do we want to be in each other's back pocket? No. But today, on the eve of her leaving after a ten day visit, I am feeling the warm & fuzzies toward the lady known in this house as Grammie.
If you are blessed to have a loving mother-daughter bond AND you are able to spend a lot of time with your mother, consider yourself lucky. I would give a lot to be able to erase the 2000 mile distance between my home and my mom's. Thanks to technology (and her recent addiction to texting), we talk every day. I spend time in her home every summer and she spends time in mine every spring and fall. But I don't have the option of calling my mom and saying "Want to go see a movie?" and I certainly don't have the option of sending my kids to the safe haven known as Grammie's house when I am at the end of my rope and need a break.
My kids adore their Grammie. They are closer to her than most kids are to grandparents who live right around the corner. They love spending time with her. They make her laugh and she showers them with love. I am not ashamed to say that it is a vacation for me when my mom takes HER vacation here with us. My kids generally want nothing to do with me when she is around. It's exhausting for her, but a very nice bonus for me - I get to spend time with my mom while giving my kids a rest from THEIR mom!
I know tomorrow I will have a tearful goodbye at the airport when Mom leaves, and my kids will not be happy campers at school. Tomorrow evening this house will be full of long faces and it will take a few days to work off the post-Grammie stupor. I pray for safe travels for my mom, and I am thankful for the time we are able to spend with each other. I'm even more grateful that we ENJOY that time, and we are all already counting down the days until our next visit with Grammie.