My mother, May, and I didn’t always see eye to eye and we had our fair share of contentiousness.
I married an “artist” type who I often supported, wanted my own career, waited till I was in my thirties to have children, divorced, and “took up” with a man from Mississippi who was 14 years older. These events weren’t in the script she had written for me. I also didn’t make it easy for her to be my mother.
But by the time she died at 87 at the beginning of 2009, we understood each other better than ever. She even told me she loved me on more than one occasion during the last few years. It felt good every time she said it.
Now my 28-year-old daughter, Simone, doesn’t always make it easy for me to be her mother (and vice versa, I might add). But I consistently want her to know how much I support and love her despite some of our differences. Who cares that she’s not the type to want a traditional wedding, or any wedding, for that matter. (I kind of think all the hoopla and expense that goes into planning a wedding is overkill anyway).
Who cares that she has a couple of not-insignificant tattoos. (I just wonder how she’ll feel about them when she’s fifty.) And who cares that she sometimes gets petulant, impatient and frustrated with me. (I would too.)
What I really care about is that she’s a wonderful young woman who is working hard to make something of her life, has good friends who adore her, a thoughtful man who loves her, and has a common sense second to none.
I love Simone’s artistic talent, her funkiness, her style and that she “gets” and loves her brother and her father. She’s also done a spectacular job to overcome some pretty big obstacles in her young life. I was one of them earlier on.