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on the evolution of "family"

September 30, 2011

the relationship between mother and child exists in every family, and yet i don’t know that i ever fully understood that dynamic until becoming a mother, myself.  i wouldn’t say that i didn’t respect my mother, because i did, and i do, but now i really “get it.”  all those years as an angsty teenager, i never really comprehended when i would hear my parents say things like, “you’ll understand when you have your own children,” or, “when you have kids of your own you can do it your way.”  and what is awesome about all of that is i do have my own daughter now.  and i am doing it my own way.

a few weeks ago, jason, harper, and i drove a few hours to north to my hometown, to visit with my family.  i have always held great affection for my granny brown, and i simply do not get to see her often enough.  it was important for me to visit, as my grandmother had only met harper one time since her birth.  i cannot imagine how it feels to be a great-grandmother.  i cannot imagine having lived through the birth of my own child, and the birth of my child’s child– let alone the birth of my grandchild’s child.  i cannot imagine how it feels to hold that great-grandbaby and think back to the time my own child was that young; when i was that young.  i cannot imagine, in old age, how much joy there is in watching young, new life come to learn and grow all over again.  my guess is it looks something like this:

in the hours before i told my mother i was pregnant, my stomach was practicing somersaults, and i was dealing with a serious case of morning sickness (my morning sickness, however, happened to come around 6 or 7:00 in the evening).  there was a part of me that was worried she would be disappointed in me somehow, but that simply wasn’t the case.  i imagined if i ever had a child that my baby would be close to both of my parents– i wanted my baby to be able to really know her grandparents.  and though my family lives hours away, they visit often, and i was glad to visit them.  my mother joked with me when i visited that if she had known having grandchildren was so much fun, she would’ve skipped having the kids.  even though we had days of not speaking when i was 15 years old, and even though i lived nearly 3000 miles away for years and we talked each week, i somehow doubt she would give up all those times in-between.  and i am so glad she gets to experience these moments with me; as i become a mother, as she becomes a grandmother.  i doubt she’d give up any of these times either…

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 30, 2011 9:55 am

    Seeing the photo of Harper with her great-grandmother is heartwarming! Every now and then I get a hint of that “gee, mom, now I know where you were coming from” feeling when I work with the 14-year-old girl I mentor. I can only imagine how that understanding would be amplified with a daughter of my own!

    Love your guest posts, Lydia, and love seeing Harper grow into such a vivid, brilliant little girl.

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