Privilege Blog

Now Playing: Grown Daughter, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:55am

Flying Redhead

My daughter is sitting right next to me, typing quickly. She’s wearing flannel pajama bottoms, I’m wearing flannel pajama bottoms, there the resemblance ends. How I gave birth to someone who can memorize anatomical systems, who speaks about “my cadaver,” well, let’s just say that becoming human is a mysterious process.

I get such comfort from her competence.  To say nothing of her light copper ponytail and the pitch of her voice. To be precise, more joy than comfort in the physical.

Joanna Goddard posted this link, a photo series of mothers with their one-day old infants. When we got to the picture of a baby with eyes wide open, I said, “That was you. Hello. I am just born but I see you.” Even new, babies all look so different. I had forgotten that.

Adult children, once you’re done with the wakings up and the cryings about food and the refusals to wear this, or that, and especially the itchy hand-knitted sweater from Grandmama, remind me of a favorite piece of music. Played over and over, something new found every time. Babies are beautiful, we goo and gah, but mothers can find it hard to see cute when they are tired.

When babies grow up, I don’t think you lose the baby. Only now it can drive itself to visit you, and show you software that allows note-taking from a tablet computer, and hang upended on circus silks. Very little downside.

I’m lucky in my children, and forever grateful, thanking all systems for my good fortune.  And listening for her feet sounding on the tile as she walks back into the kitchen.

32 Responses

  1. You write so beautifully but never more so than when you write about your children and motherhood. Thank you.

  2. Lovely post. Envious you have a daughter in the house! Just hung up after a on-the-fly Saturday morning chat with mine. In the conversation she talked about visiting a new mother friend who was SO tired. In the aftermath she wondered if she’d ever be ready to take mothering on. I said the things mothers say. How it’s different when the baby is your own and how they–you!–are so worth it. Worth it all along but especially when they grow up to be such good friends.

    Enjoy your visit!

  3. “there the resemblance ends.”

    Oh you. Me, I think the hair color is the lone difference. To date. In reading the lovely words you wrote about your daughter, I think the same apply to you, truly. Wicked high speed minds, endless bandwidth, slender supple physicality… She may even have your arches. Either way, I’m glad you’re both on this earth, I learn so much from you [just like she did/does].

    Oh and the link to the one day old babies and their mothers article and photos, fabulous! Thank you!

  4. love this post! my son is 2 and a half and a little boy but he will always be my baby, even at say 50. When I will be almost 90. He came into the world with his eyes open looking for me too. Love him beyond measure for all that he has given to me. Caring for someone and being responsible for the development of their mind is a huge privilege.

  5. A beautiful photo, so graceful and assured. The joy grown children bring never stops surprising me and I’m so grateful for that.

  6. This is lovely. My first thoughts went to my own 2 adult daughters and my delightful relationships with them. Then I wandered onto my sweet mom and how she must have felt about me. Though she no longer walks this earth, I know with out a doubt I was loved and cherished….such a gift to be doubly blessed with a good momma and good daughters.

  7. As a mother of two daughters and one son, I understand every word you said. The transition from “my babies” to becoming their own adult persons is indeed a mysterious happening. I often look at them and listen, all the while wondering “where did that come from?” A thought, a look, a certain intelligence–and I wonder at what point that took root. Nevertheless, knowing that my children and I are bound by the mystery of mutual creation is comforting and is all I need to know.

  8. Lisa, I really enjoyed this today. It has prompted many memories! I well remember the “tired” that rather took precedence over the “cute.” Enjoyment of our adult children must be a “delayed pleasure.”:-)

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