Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mothers and Daughters

'By the time a woman realises her mother was right, she has a daughter who thinks she is wrong.' 
My mother was in the delivery room as I was giving birth to my first child.  I'm still not sure how she got there - but then again, I doubt anyone would have told her to leave.  She would have given them one of her old fashioned looks which basically says "There's nothing here I haven't seen before." 

Anyway, there I was at the painful end huffing and puffing and - well - mooing for some reason, with my husband bravely holding a cool flannel to my head and trying to avoid seeing anything gory.  My mother was at the action end with a look of mild impatience, which I like to believe was masking her excitement.  

Of her five children I was her only daughter and the birth of her first grandchild was a big event for us both.  I was glad and touched that she had turned up unannounced and, although a little embarrassed to be 'revealing' so much of myself to her, I knew this was a turning point in our relationship.

Finally my daughter arrived and was placed in my arms.  "I've got a baby, I've got a baby" I kept repeating.  "Well, what were you expecting?" my mother asked "A rabbit?".  

I laughed softly and then, looking down at my darling newborn daughter I was overcome with awe, love and a deep understanding.  I knew I loved this tiny being with a fierce and protective love and that I had been waiting for her my whole life.  I also knew that underneath all the misunderstandings and heartbreak between us, this was exactly how my mother felt about me.

Cradling my daughter in my arms, I looked into my mother's eyes and said: 'I am so sorry.  Thank you.'  

She sat very still, gave me a gentle nod, and our healing journey began.

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