Wednesday, December 2, 2009
My Daughter, My Friend
Amanda came into the world on May 22, 1987 ... very much hoped for, very much wanted. My mother commented that she was an 'old soul' when she was only months old. Amanda was a beautiful baby ... easier than her older brother Blair in that she went to sleep easily and she would simply observe her world between eating and sleeping. I must confess that while dealing with a rowdy two and a half year old boy, she sometimes just drifted off to sleep in the playpen. Amanda didn't need to be in a playpen but it protected her from the 'exuberance' of her brother, who only knew one speed ... full out. Our girl talked at 14 months ... in full sentences. One of her first statements was that she 'wanted to go to the mall.' Little did we know where this would lead. The girl still loves shopping and fashion to this day, having pursued a course of study in same. She did all of the usual things girls do ... played sports, danced, cheered and made and lost friends along the way. But, the thing that not many people initially understood about Amanda is that underneath her lovely exterior, her typical girliness, there has always lived a capacity for compassion and love that she could not always show. She is honest and loyal to a fault but a person would not find this out unless they stuck around long enough to allow her to show her vulnerabilities ... because Amanda has a tendency to deflect and protect herself by occasionally being prickly. To know Amanda is to understand this and love her all the more. So, the adventure of raising this daughter has been fun, sometimes trying but ultimately rewarding in a way that only a mother can fully understand about their own offspring. A mother wants happiness for her child but is willing to support that child through any sorrows. It has been said that a mother is only as happy as her least happy child. I feel this is so true. And now, I am happy. You see, my daughter was recently engaged to her sweetheart of nearly seven years. As a parent, one worries when a child falls in love at a young age ... will they be careful, will they be smart, will they fulfill their dreams. I had all of these worries and now I can say that ... yes, they were and yes they are. I can honestly feel that they have worked toward a wonderful and healthy relationship and I do not doubt that they will have a successful marriage. Along the way, Amanda and I have grown in our relationship too. We are more than mother and daughter ... we are friends. As our relationship changes I look forward to planning her wedding. She is already wise but, if there is any wisdom I can impart regarding marriage and children all she need do is ask. I trust her to do the right thing and I will be there to support her and her family. I am so proud of this child of mine ... not for anything accomplished as much as just for the person that she is. I think her grandmother was right ... she often seems wise beyond her years. I think this will hold her in good stead as she moves to the next phase of her life and I wish her joy, laughter and love along the way.