The Writing Mamas Daily BlogEach day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.
If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.
And for that, you are a goddess.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
A Mother's Reward is Her Daughter's Self-Confidence
“Its going to be so funny when everyone notices how long my hair has gotten!” chuckled my four-year-old daughter, looking at herself in her mirror, basking in self-love.
Preparing for another birthday party, negotiating wardrobe, how much of my make-up I’ll let her wear, we arrived at my daughter’s certainty about what the true focus of the party would be.
“Dominic’s mom, Karson’s mom,” she went on “they will ALL be so amazed by my hair!”
I stared at her, my little center of the universe. I almost reminded her that people will be thinking other things also, but stopped myself. We have hopped off the developmental ski lift and reached the highest summit of narcissism at just the right time. It changes on its own if all goes well. Leave her alone, I tell myself, the world will be knocking her off it soon and often.
What is the good mother response? Join her in it? Say nothing? Move to another topic? “They'll be happy to see you. We haven’t seen them since last year,” I say, attempting to go with it. She is fluffing her hair and gazing in the mirror. “Um, hm. . .” she says.
I wonder about myself at her age and my anxiety over her confident self-celebration. My mother was in the trenches of her long depression, spreading despair throughout the house when I was small. I can remember feeling exuberant and confident. I tried to share it with her.
“It will be OK, Mom,” I remember saying to her on one occasion when I was about my daughter’s age.
Her eyes looked huge and black. “No, it will never be OK,” she said and I felt myself fall into those black pools and believed her fully.
Today, looking at my daughter now touching up her Cinderella lip gloss, I feel my grateful moment for the day.
This is that paycheck that I get as a mother, knowing I’ve cut the cord to that particular maternal inheritance of short-circuited confidence and negativism that I know my mother and her mother received. My daughter’s sun will not be clouded over to the best of my ability.
We go to the birthday party and several moms who haven’t seen us in a while all say the same thing to my child: “Maya, I can’t believe how long your hair has gotten!”
I’m going to put a bonus in their next paycheck.
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