Friday, 24 August 2007

a year passes

Q is getting ready to leave. Her aeroplane leaves Casablanca on 28 August taking her to the U.S. It is an exciting time for her – beginning graduate school, planning her wedding next summer, having her own place for the first time. This mother business is tricky eh? It makes yin and yang look like a walk in the park. When I decided to have a child, I did it for lofty reasons. I don’t think one should have children to “look after me when I am old”, or to live out unfulfilled dreams, or as an accessory, or as something that is expected of you. I decided to have a child because I thought with the life I had lived up to that point, I had something to teach, that I could rear a being who would make a positive contribution to the universe. Ah yes, all that lasted until I looked into those eyes shaded by unbelievably long lashes in the operating room. I fell completely in love. I never expected that. I read all the pregnancy books, and the parenting books when I was pregnant, as I had never had parents so the mystery was complete. No one ever prepared me for that first moment I saw her. It was if every cell in my body was filled with light, and I knew for a moment the bliss described in the Dharma.

Then it turned to the reality of three am nursing sessions, the terror of high fevers, and the mystery of walking, potty training, and language. It has been the best ride of my life. She was, and is, the easiest child in the Universe. I have always imagined the gods having a conversation, “She’s had a bit of a rough time I think we should give her an easy one.” “That and the fact I’m not sure she could handle a difficult one.” Motherhood has been the most difficult and most joy filled job I have ever done. I had two pieces of great advice I remember and I’ll pass on to you. When she was only months old a chap came to the door with his young son to buy some weights I had advertised in the paper. As I opened the door, I heard Q cry out from the nursery. “Excuse me I have to get the baby. I’ll be just back then.”

When I returned I apologized for having to leave so abruptly and the chap said, “Take my advice. Hold her every minute you can. Once they begin walking, they keep going away from you.” I did and I am glad.

The other great piece of advice was from another chap actually who said, “If you want to know how you are doing as a parent, don’t look within. Look at your child.” I did, and she has convinced me I am a terrific mom!

She has excelled in both her personal life and her school career. She is well-rounded, compassionate, loving, physically beautiful, generous, curious, and only cranky when she is hungry. I am proud of her every day, and I am anxious to see what she will do with the rest of her life.

We have had a great year here together. I think we are both glad I came along, but for both of us a year living together is long enough. She is a grown woman now with her own needs, wants and routines. I am Mrs. Tittlemouse, she is not. I don’t cook, she does. I like everything pristine, she is more relaxed. I find it amazing that we did not kill each other over the course of the year. I had to back off from the mom role – as in offering advice, and not giving orders – not my best thing but I did try. I’ve had to learn to live with a kitchen that is to my eyes messy, and to her eyes fit for living in. She has had to tolerate my asking where she is going, and when she will be back. She has spent the year being my interpreter, and I have spent the year picking up her clothes. But we did live through it, and in good form. We had a fun trip to Marrakech, and adventures in both Fez and Rabat, especially the Fez Medina. I had the joy of watching her discover more of herself and her abilities. She took side trips all about the country with friends, while I banged at my laptop and waited for it to cool down. We entertained her fiancé over Christmas and they toured the countryside. She found places with great food, I found places with great atmosphere. We shopped together more than we have since she was ten, and went through the joy and fear of M.C. Solaar’s sojourn into our lives. We managed it all while being tolerant, considerate, and loving to each other – not easy all the time.

Now she leaves on her own journey, and I continue mine.

28 comments:

Mama Zen said...

I can only hope that when my little one is a grown woman she and I will have that kind of relationship.

Kaycie said...

Just lovely. My eyes are all wet now. My only daughter is 16 and I am beginning to glimpse the relationship you describe. That transition from girl to woman is bittersweet, but satisfying. I hope we manage it as gracefully and you and Q.

jmb said...

Lovely post Lady Mac. It is very hard to let them go isn't it? I am staying with my daughter now and every day I see what she has become in her adulthood. Not the exact path we both envisioned but satisfactory none the less.

She left home for good 17 years ago, although 23 and already with a master's degree, she was still a young girl. But then she was ready to continue her education in the US and live on her own. Now she is confident woman with a family of her own.

I'm sure Q will continue to make you proud of her as she continues on this new stage of her journey.
Try not to be sad, but proud as she leaves.
regards
jmb

lady macleod said...

mama zen

I'm sure you will.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

kaycle

Oh my you are visiting hormone hell then eh? It passes, and you both will live I promise. It has been a bumpy ride for us as well, but I think if you keep your sight on the important thing, which is that you love each other, you get through it. It's an adventure.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

jmb

I did think of you as I was writing this. I hope Q and I continue along the same path and someday I can blog about going to visit, and keeping my grandchildren.

It is a blessing beyond my dreams.

thank you for coming by.

Sir James Beiggelschwarz said...

Ah, Lady M - I am without words but there are many mixed feelings here. Hold up, girl.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Oh, I'm going to go cry now. What a thoughtful, loving post. The hardest, but most important thing in raising a child is knowing when to let go. And you've done it so gracefully. Q is a lucky girl and you are a lucky mum.

Annie said...

My computer has been playing up and I have not been able to comment here recently for some reason! This post is the second of yours recently to make me cry.

The other was your tale of shopping in the sales, for the simple fact that it made me so homesick for my own Mum, and our shopping trips.

This was a beautiful post - Q is very lucky to have a Mum such as you.

Iota said...

Thank you thank you thank you for your advice. It's lovely.

I love the way I am discovering so much about my mother that I never knew before, through being a mother myself. You are at the stage in between, and it is interesting to hear about a relationship with a daughter who is grown-up but still at the beginning bit of grown-up. It sounds fun.

Ian Lidster said...

What a lovely tale of the relationship between grown mother and daughter. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. You are very blessed, and being childless, I envy you.

MomOf3 said...

What a lovely post. My daughter just turned 6 and yet after reading your post, I can picture her all grown up. The year you have spent together with your daughter is such a gift! It is wonderful that you were able to record it on your blog.

Omega Mum said...

Wow! What a post. So how does it work when you look at your kids and one seems sort of OK, one is an inferno of misery and the other one is an enigma. How far should I beat myself up - or should I do it with one hand and give myself a pat on the back with the other? Self obsessed? Moi?

darth sardonic said...

dammit, lady macleod, you made me choke up with your two pieces of parental advice. i have inscribed them on my frontal lobe, but actually find that, without knowing it, i have been living them already. it's wonderful to read your story about you and your daughter's relationship, and i hope that me and my sons will have a similar kinda thing down the road.

lady macleod said...

darth

I have no doubt you already live those tidbits. I have no doubt the relationship you have with your sons will be the envy of many a father. It's the in the trenches work that gives you a piece of each other to love.

thank you for your kind words and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

omega mum

I think it means you are all on your way to a great future. Albeit I would like to see the back patting thing...

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

momof3

thank you. yes, I do consider this year an unexpected gift and that was the intention of the blog - just a quiet personal journal...

thank you for the kind words, and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

ian

Thank you. I KNOW I am blessed, and I am grateful for that as well. Thank you for your touching comments, and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

iota

you are welcome and thank you for the kind words.

I have heard that from others as well, that being a mother has taught them about their mothers.

It IS fun.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

annie

I'm glad you have the commenting fixed. I was sorry to hear I made you cry, but then it was the good kind so that's all right then.

How nice that you have the sort of relationship with your Mum that you do miss her. There's something to be grateful for eh?

I don't know how often Q feels lucky :-) but I know I do.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

WUASTC

It is true, and the letting go is never easy!

Thank you for the kind words and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

sir james

thank you m'lord. It is indeed a bag of feelings. Shopping maybe? Several long runs? Cleaning? I'm making a list.

thank you for coming by.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

A beautiful post, Lady M. You are obviously a wonderful mother and that's a lovely description of how you felt when Q was born - and of how you felt afterwards. "Letting go" must be so hard - but I'm quite sure she will never let YOU go! Auguri xx

lady macleod said...

welshcakes

thank you for the kind words my friend. i am immeasurably blessed, and i know it. the letting go is difficult but at the same time very rewarding knowing that she is capable and ready to fly.

thank you for coming by.

jenny said...

sigh.. I am both sad and happy for you. It takes much courage to be able to let your child go and live her own life without being over-bearing. You are very similar to my mother (but she is in no way as adventurous as you!)and she knew when to let me go, though I know it must have been hard for her at times, to see me heading towards a fall and knowing I must hit my head before I see the bottom! I am hard-headed sometimes and a good knock on the head is the only thing that works half the time! :o)

I enjoyed this post and I hope I can see my girls grow up and lead their own lives and I won't be that overbearing mother that won't let go.

Good job!

debio said...

Simply lovely, lady m. I particularly pick out your two pieces of advice.

My objective has always been to advance towards the day when my daughter will walk away and not look back - she will not then see my crying as she goes...

My very best wishes to you both for your latest futures.

Brillig said...

What an amazing relationship you two have. I look at my sweet little girl and pray that we can love each other the way you two do. I can only imagine how much you're going to miss her.

Sparx said...

Wonderful wonderful, you must be the most wonderful mother, I hope I can be as giving and understanding as a parent.