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A different perspective

I drove to my sister's house this afternoon after church, seven of us piled into our suburban flying down the road in the misty rain. We were returning my niece and nephew to their home and getting a lovely dinner in the bargain.

Lance sat in the far back with our youngest, who kept up a constant stream of conversation with him and our seventeen year old daughter Stephanie sat beside me in the passenger seat as I drove. She'll be eighteen in two months. Eighteen years old and this is her last real full year with us before she spreads her wings and disappears off to college.

I'd glance at her once in a while as I manuevered my way through the traffic, her hand was resting on her leg and she was listening to music on her iriver (ipod wannabe). I fought the urge to reach over and take her hand in mine, knowing she probably wouldn't like it. As I looked at her, I had a sudden flashback to when I was her age, riding along in the car with my mother.

Mom had a habit of wanting to touch me. She'd reach out and hold my hand as she drove, or sit next to me on the couch and put her hand on my arm. Mom was a touchy-feely-huggy kind of mom. She always seemed to need some sort of contact with me.

I was a teenager and I hated it.

Holding hands with your mother when you're a teenager? A fate worse than death. I'm not sure I ever put my disdain for her particular need into words, but I'm sure she knew. I nearly always managed to extricate my hand from hers with some trumped up excuse as soon as I could.

My beautiful independent 17 year old has no compunction about voicing her dislike when I reach for her hand. She has a lot more strength than I did at her age.

And I understand. It hurts, but I understand. You see, I hold the sweetest memories of my daughter's chubby fingers curling around my mine, her tiny hands clutching mine as we crossed streets and took walks. I have the memories ~~she doesn't.

My mother held those same memories of my hands~~but I didn't.

I didn't know how my heart would yearn to tell my mom how sorry I am that I didn't hold on to her hand for just a little bit longer until my baby girl grew up and stopped holding my hand.

I didn't know.

Comments

  1. It's okay honey. Maybe you can tell your girl all this. She may or not understand now, but the words will stick somehow and her understanding might come about sooner than later.
    hug yourself for me

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  2. That's undeniably the worst thing about not seeing your children for over three years. Neither of them will want to do that anymore.

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  3. I just wanted you to know that your writing is wonderful and I hate it because it makes me cry! Please keep it up!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anna, maybe when I feel the time is right I'll let her read these things. Right now she's so busy with her life and it has to be the right moment. Thanks for the hug, amiga. It was needed.

    Richard, I'm so sorry. That has to cut you deeply.

    Stace, thank you for your kind words. I'm sorry to have made you cry...but then again, perhaps not. There are some things that should make us cry I suppose. Again, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This was very touching and real, Pam, and I think you SHOULD somehow, at the right moment, let her see it...

    Think of your own regrets now about your own mom and how you didn't want to hold her hand.

    Should you consider giving your daughter the chance to know that now rather than later?

    You're a great mom.

    ReplyDelete

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