Monday, July 19, 2010
That Mother-Daughter Connection
My daughter and I met together for the first time in too many months yesterday for a 5-day visit at our hometown of San Francisco. She no longer lives here, and I am here only part-time, so it is interesting to meet up, call this home, and yet establish a new version of home at this exciting and changing time in both of our lives.
I am fortunate to have a very close relationship with Susannah (Zana to most, Sus to me) and this has been the case for all of her life. Now that we are both independent adults, the nuances to this close relationship continue to evolve, built on the strength we have established over the past 21 years. A wise friend once advised that I develop a relationship of trust with my kids long before they hit the teenage years, as that foundation needed to be in place before the rockiness of adolescence shook things up. That was one of the most valuable pieces of childrearing advice I ever received, and I believe it is such an important component of the relationship that Susannah and I have today.
I never had the chance to know my own mother once I reached adulthood, and I doubt that even if I had we would have ever achieved a relationship like Susannah and I have. At the core is honesty and truth, belief in each other and allowing each other to be our true selves with one another, and trust in our bond and our independence. Over the last year when I have leaned on Susannah for support and friendship at a time when she has been establishing her life in NYC, she's been there, wise beyond her years. And over this same year when she has leaned on me for different types of advice and support, I've been able to be there for her, too.
At dinner last night, Susannah's best friend told me that I was her role model, that if she ever had kids she would want to take lessons from me in hope of ending up with a child like mine. I say, take lessons from both of us. It goes both ways!