When does a daughter step over the child line and into friend area…or does she ever? How difficult is it for a mother to become the recipient of care giving? I have been thinking about this a lot lately as my daughter, my mom and I all get older. And this Holiday Season, I spent a glorious amount of time with both.
I started seeing my daughter coming closer to the friend line each day. I have noticed during her visit back from college this winter break she has become more independent. She asked me for advice less and tells me her decisions rather than waiting for my opinion. She actually made quite an important and grownup decision this break and I was in awe of her ability to sort it all out…by herself. And maybe this new found independence has brought her closer to the friend line. There were still reminders here and there she is not really ready to leave her daughter role and that’s okay. There is no hurry. I do have my arms open both ways she turns.
As far as my mom….well, the thing I do know is my Mom’s aging has taken our roles to a whole different level. I started out as her daughter, somewhere along the line morphed into her friend with reminders thrown here and there that she is still my mother. Noow, my sister and I are starting to move into the role as caretaker slash friend slash Mom…my sister more than me, but still I have picked it up more as of late. And I know this is normal, even expected as a mother and daughter get older. I suppose, like anything new, this takes some getting used to as I mourn the shedding of my old role and get anxious about the new one.
Mother and daughter is a special bond. It never hit me as strong as it has this Holiday Season with a daughter tight rope walking the line near friend and a mother heading toward the ending years of her life, taking on a new role of a dependent – something so contrary to her independence. There’s some sadness in one, excitement in the other and resolve in knowing it is as it should be ….as the universe unfolds before my middle age self.