I always think about how we don’t celebrate as many milestones with our grown up children as we did when they were little. In fact, every once in a while :) grown up kids are big pains in the butt ….big kids big problems!
But when our children reveal themselves as the adults we’d hoped and worked so hard for them to be, it is cause for celebration.
My younger daughter, now 24 gave me that reason.
Checking my email quickly before final dismissal of the day, I noticed an email from Riana with “thank you” as the subject. Scanning the mental files for what I’d done to make her grateful, my mind drew a blank.
As I read her email, tears filled my eyes and one of my students looked over at me quizzically. I explained I had just received the best gift from my daughter.
After the children left the classroom, I read and re-read her words. The power of the expression of her gratitude for our parenting struck me with an overwhelming feeling of melancholy. Wishing to share the email with my own mother gone almost ten years, filled me with regret. Regret that I never said “thank you” as eloquently as Riana - the daughter my mother wished upon me when I, as a teenager tested my parents beyond what was necessary; the daughter she wished upon me when I worried her or made her furious; Riana - the same daughter who stressed and distressed me so that sticking to the tough choices we made as parents was one of the most difficult things ever.
And, she is the very same daughter who inspired me to stay the course and be the best mom I could be.
Just as I did
as my mother’s daughter
but without the gratitude.