Saturday, September 8, 2007

Our Daughters, Ourselves

Sommer is three and says things like, "is this really necessary?"
and "tell me loving things mommy"
She greets me every morning with Happy Mommy's Day!
Hope is fearless. She's never cried during shots, not even once when the doctor had to snap her dislocated her elbow back in place. She is the first to try anything and say to the rest of us, "it's okay, come try too"
Peyton could stare down a lion. She exudes confidence and has a smile that melts your heart.
I evaluate myself and find myself lacking the courage, fortitude and optimism found in my daughters. I have often been consumed with battling my own mother-daughter demons that I've neglected to appreciate the good things I've managed to do for my own girls. For many years, I've obsessed about how mothers can leave, promising deep within to never recreate the unhealthy relationships I've had to endure. I take a step back and realize that I've had what it takes to be a decent mom, if not a good one, and I am eternally relieved at this new discovery. I can do this, I can raise girls. I do not and will not relive the past with them. I will create and cherish this minute and the next. I will take hold of all the minutes given me with them and fold them into fond memories.


Saipan Writer said...

This is a beautifully written commitment to motherhood.

My own mother was (and is) a wonderful mother. I took it for granted that she would always be sweet and loving, if a bit confused about how to change when we grew up into adults.

I often think that I am not 1/10th the mother to my own daughter that my mother was to me. Inadequate doesn't say enough.

But then I see my daughter and think, no matter what mistakes I've made (and they're too numerous to count), she's doing a good job of growing up.

We do what we can. The rest is out of our control.

Shazam said...

This is beautiful, honest, and took courage to write. I too share your hopes and fears. Raising children is the scariest thing I've done in my life. Even when it gets hard you stick with it and do more than just stay. You show them unconditional love. That is what makes you such a great mom Boni.

Have you read Reviving Ophelia?

Boni said...

Yes Jane, my girls seem to be growing up better than I ever expected. I had great mommy substitutes, my grandma, aunts, my instant mom Lucy who loved me, cousins and finally, my dad. I am still haunted by my biological mother and our less than perfect, always in evolution relationship.

Bren: I looked at the very book this weekend but didn't have the nerve to buy it. I've always wanted to write about moms who leave, but I've never had the guts to actually do the research. It may be something that I have to do one day in order to bring closure to my own feelings.

Melissa said...


What an amazing post... as a woman who is hoping to become a mother of a daughter very soon, I look to you and the other amazing moms I know for advice and guidance. I honor you for your honesty, and hope that I can one day be as great of a mom as you are.

Saipan Writer said...

I've had Reviving Ophelia sitting among my books for years and still haven't read it. I'll see if I can find it and loan it to you, Boni.

And perhaps writing about this topic in fiction would be a good way to explore your thoughts and feelings. November is national novel writing month. Some of us are going to be doing that, so join us.

Hope said...

Thats really nice, mom

Boni said...

You'll make a great mom Melissa. I am excited for you. Thanks Jane, you've already been so kind. I'll keep the novel writing off my plate for now though, I'm kind of scared by the thought right now. I still feel a little wobbly in the knees as a writer. Hopie: I love you daughter-girlfriend!

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