When I look into my daughter's eyes I feel so many mixed emotions. Sadness because time passed so quickly, pride because she is a fine young woman, worry because who knows what tomorrow will bring? And, yes deep love for this life my husband and I created. Katie is the oldest of my three children and my only daughter. I love my two boys but there will always be something special between my daughter and I. When I reflect on each of my pregnancies I remember different stages of each with fondness and love that is difficult to put into words. The morning sickness, backaches, swollen ankles, and other various discomforts were nothing compared to the feeling that overcame me as I held my first child for the first time. A feeling that still connects us
twenty-three years later.
At fifty one years old I find myself comparing my own relationship with my mother to the one I share with my daughter. There are many similarities but so many differences as well. I grew up in a household with a single mother struggling to make our lives easier as she dealt with the loss of a marriage that ended badly. She kept as much away from me as she could and made small moments into special ones so I could stay a child for as long as possible. She always answered my questions in a way I could understand and made simple times together, like reading a book on the couch, a time to share each other's company. We would each have our own side of the couch and share a big blanket as we each read our books, every so often nudging the other one's toes until she giggled.
As I raised my own children, especially my daughter, I found I passed on the importance of simple times and simple things. My passion for reading grew over the years and I passed it on to my daughter who has embraced faraway places and cultures in a way I never dreamed she would. I look at her and see a woman who has grown into her own. A woman who values a good story along with family and friendship. She fights for the rights of others and she isn't afraid to stick to her convictions whether they are considered big or small. I raised an animal rights activist who also takes to the streets to march for women's causes. I gave her the stepping stones to begin her journey and she continued on the road headed towards wonderful. I am proud of my mother and her strength and values, but I am proud I learned from it and passed these lessons on to my daughter as well. I look into my daughter's eyes and I see someone who is unstoppable.