By Diane Kortus
Labor Day weekend held new meaning for me this year. Instead of looking forward to a weekend at the beach, I looked forward to the arrival of my daughter, Rachel, who came home for the first time since she left for college in mid August.
My house has been exceedingly quiet since Rachel left for Stetson University in Deland. While I have enjoyed the time for myself, coming home to two dogs and a cat is a lot different than coming home to a teenager.
Rachel asked me not to plan anything special for the holiday weekend. She said all she wanted to do was “to chill with her pets and hang.”
And that made me happy because that is all I wanted too — to have my daughter around the house doing what she does best — “hang.”
Being the mother of a daughter is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Rachel arrived after her brother Andy and like most mothers I know whose first-born is a son, I wanted a daughter the second time around.
Sonograms were not routine when I was a young mother and I did not know the sex of my children before they were born. Although I dearly loved my rambunctious 3-year-old boy, I wanted my second child to be a girl so much that I requested only frilly girl things for my baby shower, as if getting little girl dresses assured me of a daughter.
Silly as that logic was, it worked.
My little girl could not have been more different than her brother. Where Andy was gregarious and loud, Rachel was quiet and reflective. Andy couldn’t wait to try new things while Rachel insisted on taking beginner tumbling three sessions in a row.
Andy went to bed without prompting and was up early, even as a teenager, to get started on a day of pre-planned activities. Rachel stayed up past her bedtime most nights finishing a book or listening to a Harry Potter tape for what seemed like the hundredth time. She never woke before 10 a.m. without a fight, and still doesn’t.
When Rachel was an infant, I imagined a mother-daughter relationship where I would extol my wisdom on her so that she could avoid the mistakes I had made during my 37-year head start on life.
But I was wrong about who would be teaching whom. As most parents come to know, we learn more from our kids than they from us.
To those of you who are mothers of both sons and daughters, you will understand when I say the connection I have with my daughter is different than that with my son. I love both my children unconditionally with a depth that every parent feels. But there is an added dimension in the relationship I have with Rachel because we are both women.
Being women greatly affects how we perceive the world. And it is a dimension that will continue to grow closer as Rachel graduates from college, begins a career, gets married and becomes a mother herself.
In her 18 years Rachel has shaped who I have become as much as I have shaped her.
I can’t wait to see what the next 18 years holds as Rachel and I continue on our paths that will forever intersect as mother and daughter.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.