When my daughter Gina turned eighteen I started giving her room to be an adult. I stopped telling her what to do or making decisions for her. This went on for several months but I started noticing Gina was acting different. I knew more than anything else she wasn’t happy. This ultimately led to a blow up between us one night. Finally I asked her to tell me what was going on.
“Do you not love me anymore?” Was the response I got. I was stunned.
You see Gina thought that because I wasn’t being the mom she was accustom to that I was done being a parent and she was now on her own pretty much. Believe me we talked way into the wee hours of the morning that night and that’s when I told her why I had been treating her the way I had. Finally she told me that she had a lot of friends and over the years friends would come and go but she only had one mom and that was all she wanted me to be. So you see that’s the relationship we still have. I’m her mom and she is my daughter. We’re mom and daughter who just happen to be friends but we’re still mom and daughter no matter what.
So what’s all this about? It’s about the times that Gina can still make me proud to be her mom and times when she says or does something that lets me know she respects me as her mom. I know that sounds silly but maybe you’ll get it by the time you finish reading this.
When I wrote my first book it took Gina almost a year before she got up the courage to sit down and read it. You see Gina and I are extremely honest with one another. Painfully honest. If I don’t want to know how something really looks on me believe me I know not to ask her if it does. Same here for her.
Gina was afraid that she might not like my book, I can’t blame her for thinking this because just because her mom wrote it didn’t mean it was going to be good and the last thing she wanted was to tell me it was crap. I had no idea she was going to pick that book up that day and the first time I knew about it was when she called me crying. I mean she was really crying.
When I asked her what was wrong she told me she had just finished reading ‘Blood Lines The Curse.’ Well that didn’t sound good but I asked her was it really that bad. She told me no it was that good. Once she picked it up she couldn’t put it down either. OK so why was she crying? That’s when she told me why she hadn’t read the book because she didn’t want to have to tell me it stunk if it was bad. Turned out she was crying because for one thing, the ending made her cry and second because the book was really good and she was so proud of me. This wasn’t the you’re my friend and I’m proud of you this was the my mom did this and I’m so proud of her. Yes there is a difference. Yes it made me cry and I can’t begin to explain how I felt at that moment. Proud wouldn’t cover it. To have your child tell you that they are proud of something you’ve accomplished is an amazing feeling Now I didn’t go into this because I felt like promoting one of my books but because yesterday at lunch she told me something that happened that made me feel that way again.
Gina is involved with a young man who has a little girl who he has total custody of so Gina became a mother herself overnight. Savannah is Jud’s little girl and she has wormed her little self into the heart of almost everyone in the family. She is an adorable little thing who I call my little Snuggle Bunny. Yes there is a point to this as well.
Savannah has a disorder that has affected her physical development. What it is I won’t go into but this disorder not only keeps her from developing at the rate other children do it also makes her a very small child for her age. Savannah is seven and I have a three year old granddaughter who is as tall as Savannah. Anyway Savannah has to have a personal assistant at school because among other things her balance isn’t what it should be. This assistant’s job is to be there and make sure that Savannah doesn’t fall down stairs and things along that line. The problem is because of how small Savannah is she wraps everyone around her little finger, even the students she attends school with. Everyone loves her. This has resulted in everyone spoils her at school and believe me she knows how to work it. She’s a sharp little cookie.
When Savannah got home from school the day before yesterday Gina was taking things out of her back pack and noticed the child’s spelling words that Savannah was supposed to copy off the board weren’t in her handwriting. Gina asked her who wrote them down and was informed that Ms. So-n-so did. Gina asked her why she didn’t write them herself and after running around the bush a couple of times Gina just out and out asked her, “You just didn’t want to write them down did you?” The darling little twit told Gina that was really what it was. Now were getting to the reason for telling this long story.
Gina went over to a book shelf in her living room and pulled out a book and held it up in front of the little girl.
“Savannah you see this book? You see all the pages in this book? You see all the words in this book? Your Nene wrote all these words and put them together to make this book.” Gina then pointed at several of the books on the shelf and continued with, “You see all those books? Your Nene wrote down all the words in all those books.”
After relating the story to her father and me she said that she wanted Savannah to know how important those words she has to copy are and she couldn’t think of a better example than me. Now I don’t know about you but I was proud of that. I know that part of the reason that she used me for an example was because she knew that Savannah would connect more with it being someone she knows and loves than using a complete stranger but the other was that she was proud of what I had done. She was also using me as an example of what Savannah could do if she worked for it. Yes I got that feeling again.