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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Mothers and Daughters

The kids had a really good pediatric dentist when they were growing up. They loved their dentist and were never afraid to see him. It was good that they weren't afraid to go to the dentist, but it made making them switch to a "adult" dentist difficult.

I kept telling them that I have a great dentist and to call and make an appointment. Thing 1 finally did. She primarily see my dentist's son, who is practicing with him. And guess what? She loves both of them!

When Thing 2 needed to go to the dentist. I told her to call mine. Thing 1 told her she has seen both my dentist and his son, that she likes them both, and to call for an appointment. She ignored us both until she couldn't put it off any longer. She made an appointment and saw my dentist ... and she loves him! 

They sent me a couple of gift card to me as a thank you for referring her, along with a form letter ... with a kind note handwritten at the bottom. "Thanks. What a nice gal and definitely your daughter". I took it as a compliment, but it's just as likely that it was a huge insult to my daughter!

All of my siblings are kind and generous, but one sister is particularly generous. She will help you or give anything she has to someone who needs it more. She once bought my parents a new hot water heater. They had the money to buy it, but she wanted to do it for them. She's also bought new carpet and furniture for them, as a surprise. She was always taking me and my sisters out for ice cream or hamburgers or joy rides in her brand new Pinto. She didn't know how to swim, so she bought me and my sisters swimming lessons. She was always doing something nice for someone.

I see a lot of that sister in Thing 2. She's always been much more generous than the average child, and has grown into an equally generous adult. A lot of people are generous with their surplus, but my sister and my daughter are generous whether or not they have it to spare. If someone needs something they have, they'll give it to them ... even if they need it or want to keep it. And, unlike many, they don't mourn the loss of their money (or item) ... it makes them happier to give it to someone who needed it more.

Thing 2 was always a sweet, easy-going child. When I had her, I had pneumonia and some stomach bug. I had to be admitted to the hospital early for IV antibiotics. A few days later, they induced my labor. I was afraid she wouldn't make it. She didn't cry immediately and that terrified me. I couldn't bring myself to ask "Is she alive?", because the alternative is that she is not alive. so I asked what color she was ... pink, she's alive ... blue, she's not breathing. The room was full of people, but no one answered, so with my voice trembling with fear, I screamed, "WHAT COLOR IS SHE?". My sister was in the room with me and she knew what I was asking, so she told "She's fine". When I retold that story to someone later, they asked "Did you think you were going to have a black baby?" And that's when it hit me ... everyone in the delivery room was probably thinking, "She doesn't even know the race of the father???". No wonder no one said anything ... they were too busy judging me for being such a slut that I didn't even know the race of the father!

Once I got her home, she slept all the time and was difficult to wake up for a feeding. She was a few weeks early and had had so many of the drugs pumped into my body flowing into hers that she was just lethargic. I wasn't worried, but my (now ex-)husband was. He wanted me to call her doctor. I told him there wasn't anything wrong. She was eating, she was wetting the appropriate number of diapers, etc., but he insisted. So, I called. They asked all the questions I knew they would ask, then they finally asked me why I called. I said "Because my husband made me." Even though the doctor gave us a thumbs-up on our daughters health, he was still mad at me. Go figure!

When she was four, she was the most perfect child you could ever ask for. There was nothing about her I would have changed. Nothing. I asked her if she would stay four forever, and she said yes. Every year after that, we have celebrated her fourth birthday. When she would tell me she wasn't four, I would ask "You mean you lied to me?" She'd sigh and answer, "No".

She stayed sweet and easy-going throughout her childhood. We had a few months of drama during her high school years, but that's pretty much it as far as "trouble" is concerned. She's always been a delight to be around ... and she still is. We regularly have lunch together. She'll come to my office and we'll eat in the lunch room. My co-workers all know her now, and one of them commented, "You two have the best mother/daughter relationship I've ever seen." What a compliment! We do have a good relationship. We laugh and talk and enjoy many of the same things.

Everyone who dreams of having a daughter, dreams that she will be exactly like Thing 2. She is an amazing daughter, and I often have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming ... that this beautiful, funny, sweet, generous, intelligent, talented woman is really "mine". 

And do you know what? She's still pretty much perfect!

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