21 ~ A Love Note to My Daughter

Mom, we’re not the Gilmore Girls.

Knife in the chest.  You uttered those words to me about four years ago and my heart sunk.  You adored the Gilmore Girls and were enthralled by the close mother/daughter television relationship.  I wanted us to be the Gilmore Girls.  I tried too hard, eh?  Or maybe I didn’t try hard enough. . . .

Remember when I bought you the sewing machine because I thought it would be so cute for us to sew together?  Remember the mother/daughter knitting lessons?  Remember the “fun” canoe and fishing trips?  Sorry, so very sorry. . . .  To say I’m thrilled you asked for knives and cookbooks for this special 21st birthday is an understatement.  Finally, a hobby we have in common!

From the moment I held you in my arms 21 years ago, I have never wanted to let you go.   I’m your biggest fan and you are my Pink Warrior.  Recently, while stalking you on the internet (yes, I am guilty!) I found your high school newspaper and your bio said, “[her] most life changing experience was when her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. ”  You never shared that with me; my dream is that a good life changing experience replaces that one.

I hope you feel we did a good job.  I look at you and realize what a strong, sensitive, independent, march-to-the-beat-of-your-own-drum child we raised.  I know we were strict and ran a tight ship but it was all done with love and concern.  You’re blossoming before our eyes into a lovely young woman.  It’s amazing and scary all at the same time, isn’t it?

I know you are making decisions in your life now that will determine your future.  We’re trying hard to understand and respect your choices.  We’re so proud of you.  You’re scary smart, amazing, funny, and have a bright future ahead of you.  I know your future will include being an advocate for those who need help and that makes me so happy.  I would also love to see you back acting because I know you miss it—I regret discouraging you from majoring in theatre.  You, my dear, are Oscar-worthy, and I know acting is one of your passions.  Don’t ever let go of your dreams and passions.  Our chameleon child, changing all the times.

Itty Bitty, there’s so much more I want to say to you, but I’d rather say the rest while holding on tightly to you, okay?

You are my sunshine.

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.”

The above Bernard Meltzer quote defines most of my friendships—my friends all know I am slightly cracked!

While I might not be one to have hordes of friends, the friends I do have are true friends and not mere acquaintances.   One dear friend, from the day I met her, has been a confidante, an advocate, and sometimes accomplice (!), had her birthday recently.  We always exchange thoughtful gifts, but as I get more and more stuff, I realize I need less and less stuff.  It’s time I crave.  More time. . . .

With that in mind, I knew I really wanted to spend time with my friend and celebrate friendship, not necessarily a birthday.  Hum, now that I think about this, maybe I’m not a good friend because it was her birthday, yet I gave her the gift I wanted to receive. . . .   (I might need to think over what appears to be underlying motives!)

I knitted her a small personal gift I hoped would be something special and then whisked her away to spend 36 hours in an area I have always found charming and have always wanted to share with her.

I’d love to say everything went according to the perfect girls’ retreat plan I had in my head, but alas, people get lost, blankety-blank road construction happens, etc.!  Still, I had a terrific time showing my friend this area.  We shopped alongside charming brick-lined streets, tasted great and not-so-great wine (hot pumpkin wine—yes for me, no for her!), shared a leisurely dinner at a vineyard with my daughter-in-law, and received wet kisses from the cutest grandson ever!

Here’s to good friends.  Pass on good karma by celebrating friendships, not gifts.  Laugh with friends, cry with friends.  The only song I remember from my half summer at Camp Fern is:  Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.  Happy birthday to a gold friend!

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