As I walked around downtown earlier this week with my daughter and her friends, I watched her. Not like a crazy stalker or anything, but like a sociologist studying human behavior. Have you ever really watched your children, when they don’t know anyone’s paying attention? They are pretty incredible.
She’s 9-years-old, she’s growing up so fast. She’s not the little kid who clung to me anymore. She is independent and funny, quirky, smart and kind. I see her give hello smiles to elderly women, I watch as she holds the door for the mother with small kids and I see her begin to think before she speaks. My heart is filled with pride. I did that or at least, I had a hand in it.
With Thanksgiving approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about all the things I’m most thankful for and there is nothing I’m more thankful for than my girls and the gift of being their mother. I know parents are not supposed to be their kid’s “friend” because it blurs the line of authority but I’m not sure that I believe that entirely. I want my girls to know that no matter what, I have their back but I also want them to respect me enough as their mother to not take advantage of that relationship.I want them to feel comfortable talking to me about anything without fear of judgment. Motherhood is a tricky balance of full on never-ending, unconditional love, complete trust and respecting the relationship just enough to listen to one another, even when they don’t want to.
When Bella was a toddler, the Big Guy and I used to watch the Gilmore Girls. Every week the theme song would start playing and my toddler would get super excited (in that way that only toddlers can) and start dancing in that bouncy little way that cruisers do; with a smile from ear to ear. That child made me fall in love with the Gilmore Girls.
I remember watching and imagining having the kind of mother/daughter relationship with my girl as Lorelai Gilmore had with her daughter, Rory. My toddler was dancing and I was dreaming about 15 years down the road, secretly hoping she’d want me to be her best friend one day.
The show ended and time passed, I had another daughter. Life moved on. We stepped on this ride of children growing up and it just keeps speeding up. There is so much going on in our day-to-day that it’s hard to ever see the big picture these days. Parenthood is truly the definition of not being able to see the forest for the trees but once in awhile when we slow down, for just a moment and notice, we can see all the potential of what this all means like when I watched my girl on the field trip, navigating the city, catching snowflakes on her tongue and being just a little silly but still cooler than I ever was at her age. I can see the Rory she is becoming.
I still see that toddler bouncing around to Carole King singing Where You Lead. It gets me every damn time. This is what parenthood is; misery peppered with profound moments of bliss. Honestly, its more like hours on end of minutia where all the real memories are made; the menial tasks of the day-to-day. The long talks about nothing, the goodnight kisses, the laughter and the tears. The good stuff happens when you aren’t even paying attention; the growing up and the growing closer . I’ve come to realize that there is something closer than a toddler’s unadulterated blind love for her mommy and that is a child, a young lady, a woman …a daughter, who chooses you. I blame the Gilmore Girls because it made me believe that moms and daughters can be best friends. That’s what I’ve hoped and planned for.
For now, we’ll be cuddled up on the sofa with our girls watching the Gilmore Girls together on Netflix because BONUS, Gilmore Girls are on Netflix and in January Friends is coming!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team but all opinions are my own.