The Friendship of a Daughter

If you are lovingly following along on my motherhood/midlife journey, you may have figured out that my oldest daughter, has blessed me with a grandchild…oh and her husband helped. Let’s give credit where credit is due, shall we?

My beauty, Carolann, recently had her 26th birthday. Not sure how that is possible since I am forever 39…but, whatever. Details.

I like to say that my two oldest children raised their father and I. By the age of 21, I was married and pregnant – somewhat in that order.

Thankfully I knew it all (sarcasm), needed no one’s help (more sarcasm), and miraculously knew how to be a mom (still more sarcasm), even though nine months before, my greatest concern in life was, where’s the next party, and how’s my hair? Funny how that works. Enough about immature me – let me tell you about the most beautiful woman I know…

I have been embarrassing Carolann since she learned how to be embarrassed. I am an in your face, give me a kiss in front of everyone kind of mom. An extroverted mom with a few introverted children. I am pretty sure when they grow up they realize mom just really, really adores them. But at about age 13, mom is basically nuts.

As my firstborn, my daughter made it clear that no one in her life would ever be telling her what to do. Damn, I love that about her. And I knew exactly where she got it from. (I’ll never understand how my mother survived me) Just sayin’.

To me, one of the most fascinating things about motherhood, is seeing personalities in our children at a very young age. None of my children have really surprised me as they enter into their late teens and then adulthood, as far as their personalities, hopes, and dreams. I am in awe every time I hear of their latest idea or adventure, and each time I think…well that makes sense.

For Carolann, I had no doubt, she’d be an incredible mother, and motherhood would become her greatest passion. She is intelligent, elegant, kind hearted, stubborn in the best of ways, and could be anything she wants. She chooses motherhood, and every sacrifice that comes with it, and I admire her greatly for it.

Let me just set this all aside for a second and tell you how amazing the Nana business is. You see, when I first heard I would be a grandmother, I was over the moon. However, looking in the mirror, I thought, I need something a bit cooler than the word “grandma.” So I settled on Nana and I love it. The thing is, now that the cutest two year old on earth knows who I am, he can call me granny, old lady, grams, whatever he wants. Just let me kiss those cheeks!

He can also color on my walls, eat all of my dessert, rearrange my furniture…I actually have no idea what I wouldn’t let him do, as long as it isn’t dangerous. You hear it throughout life, wait until you become a grandparent! Well, it’s true. There is no stress on me if he’s tired and cranky, spills his drink, eats candy for dinner…it is all just pure joy and I giggle every second I am with him. So yes, I highly recommend it.

Here is what I wasn’t expecting as I became Nana. I wasn’t expecting to feel an even deeper admiration for my daughter, as I see her glow with pride at her son’s daily new accomplishments. Her smile can light up a room when he looks at her with one of those looks only mommy gets. That look of, I’m okay as long as you are here, mom. I see him look at her that way, and my heart bursts with love for them both. I like to think I did something right to create a woman who has embraced motherhood with every ounce of her being.

Beyond Nanahood, having an adult daughter is absolutely fabulous. I’m certain there were those who thought I was way too young to have a child in my early 20s, but I’d say it was one of the greatest blessings of my life. Sure, I had to grow up quick, but that’s not always a bad thing. Now, the reward comes as we share the same taste in clothing and things, understand each other’s humor, and occasionally get accused of being sisters…which of course makes my day, and makes her laugh. It won’t last forever, so I’ll take it.

Mothers with an adult daughter will understand – the unexpected friendship that comes when that moody teenager grows up, is just that – unexpected, and so very wonderful. Then that daughter becomes a mom, and there is an instant understanding. Finally, she gets it. She gets that I would die for her…because she now feels that same intense love for a sticky faced toddler, as I have always felt for her.