Photo: L-R: Eldest (Lisa Marie) – Middle (Pamela Louise Monique) – Youngest (Candace Michelle or Shell). Taken at my middle daughter’s baby shower two months before she and her husband’s red-headed son Joseph was born. Joseph is three years old now. Time flies! By the way Pamela is the artist of the painting hanging behind the girls. All three of my girls are gifted as artists (oils, china & watercolors) and writers (published poet, screenwriting, shorts, articles). But, my daughters are much more than artists, writers, mothers and daughters. They are amazing women, totally full of themselves at times, fun spirited gals everyone loves to be in the same room with. All three ‘daughters’ have blessed and cursed me as it should be between mothers and daughters. What? You say ‘surely not cursed’ . . . but dears no daughter will always want to bless the ground you walk on, surely you know this is: A truth of passage between mother/to/daughter/to/mother/to/daughter/to/mother/. . .
Daughters: What does it mean to be a daughter? I am a daughter. Over half of the population are daughters? Writers have written books about daughters, tens of thousands of them. You can go to the Internet and google the singular ‘daughter’ or the plural ‘daughters’ and come up with some pretty interesting stuff. For instance: Even analogously the name ‘daughter’ is used on several areas to show relations between groups or element. In plants a daughter plant exists! From a cutting of a leaf no less, but still called a daughter plant because the cutting (she) is an offspring grown out of a part of the (parent) plant. Even ships can be daughter ships if any relationship exists where a superior entity is referred to as ‘mother’. Lines upon lines of quotes about daughters can be found. The old Irish saying: “A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life”. Rudyard Kipling once wrote: “Daughter am I in my mother’s house, but mistress in my own.” indicating that a daughter is always a daughter no matter what other things she may become. John Mayer wrote a song about daughters. Worth noting here are the lines: Fathers, be good to your daughters; Daughters will love like you do; Girls become lovers who turn into mothers; So mothers, be good to your daughters too. This is interesting stuff!
Mainly a daughter is the female offspring denoting her relation to her parents, that being the daughter not ‘the equivalent’ a son. But a daughter is so much more. I know. I have three and I can assure you being a daughter never prepared me for being the mother of daughters. But, wait! Did it? Lately I have begun to think in the reverse. What if I were to consider my experience as a daughter and not as the mother of daughters might then I approach my relationship to my daughters differently. As a daughter I have a preset (and generational) model of accepted behavior (daughter/to/mother scenario) in which I am the child (at times acting accordingly, I assure you) or the subordinate. The generational chain links work upward in the direction to my mother, my grandmother and so on. Respect is given even if not earned because nurture demands respect of our elders. Isn’t this what we were taught? I look at my mother with different eyes, the eyes of a child looking up for guidance and for friendship which she readily gives. On the reverse, with my daughters the generational chain links work downward in the direction to the three of them, in my case two generations caused by a twenty year span from the eldest to the youngest. Actually, I could write a book on the generational gap between the eldest and the youngest! Trust me when I say that gap is vast. Back to my argument: If I consider that my three daughters are looking upward in that same generational chain links scenario then I can change the mother/to/daughter relationship, therefore making it richer in communications and shared ideas. when I remembering to ask myself “If it were me (the daughter/to/mother scenario) how would I be approaching or reacting to this conversation I am having with my daughter(s). It’s worth a shot reminding myself that while I am in the generational downward looking mode they are in the generational upward looking mode; doing so will enrich the relationship in the mother/to/daughter scenario. Not that things are bad between myself and my daughters, quite the opposite, they and I are on wonderful terms but even wonderful can be enhanced. Why not try this: Generational Argument Model (GAM) and see if my and my daughters relationship(s) become more wonderful.
I leave you with one last quote: From Catherine Pulsifer in Inspirational Words of Wisdom in which she wrote: “A mother’s treasure is her daughter.” All three of my daughters are my treasure. They are my partner, my friend and my closest ally. Still, GAM isn’t such a bad idea.