I don’t have a daughter. I have three amazing sons and I honestly never wanted a daughter. My family has a long standing history of mother-daughter relationships that put the dys-func-tion in dysfunction and I am happy to be breaking that cycle. My mother and I were no exception. The worst in the series. She passed away two weeks ago, bringing final closure.
The day she died, but before I found out, my husband and I were driving along and a song came on the radio. Lionel Richie’s, “Easy Like Sunday Morning”. For years I loved the song, it brought me peace and calm. Then one day, when I was in my teens, my mother and I were listening to the radio and as I sat quietly singing along to the lyrics, my mother looked over at me and said, “That’s you. Easy like Sunday morning.” Then she laughed and laughed at her joke. I can’t stand to turn it off when it comes on now. It’s as if I must listen to the song, get through the lyrics, sing them out loud to prove that I can. That I am strong. That she can’t ruin something I love with hurtful words.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that song since her death. Hearing it shortly before knowing she was gone. How I felt when I heard it just hours before, how I felt when I got the call that she was gone. The two moments in complete emotional contrast. Does any of it matter now? There is a desire when you lose someone to glorify the relationship you’ve had with them. It’s tempting. You can remold the memories, make them hurt less, wrap it all up in a tiny little box and seal it with a ribbon. Eventually that ribbon will start to fray and the truth will find it’s way out.My mother loved me, of that I have no doubt, but she wasn’t capable of mothering.
Last night, I sat thinking about all of it and wondered if I had been blessed with a daughter instead of a son along the way, if I would have broken the cycle. I started thinking about the things I would have taught her. Things I wish my mother had taught me.
Ten Things I Would Tell My Daughter
1. A boy will never make you happy unless you are happy with yourself first.
2. Don’t workout because you care about weight. Workout because you care about health and because it makes you feel strong. Do it often.
3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh at yourself. It feels good.
4. Don’t regret your mistakes. Learn from them. That makes them valuable and gives you power.
5. Picking your friends is important. They will help shape your thoughts and define who you are.
6. It’s not easy to figure out who you are in the crowd, but it’s important you do. Pay attention to what makes you unique and embrace it.
7. Always help other girls and women. Don’t be afraid of their successes, their success helps your success.
8. Don’t let what others say about you bring you down. Evaluate it for truth, if there is any truth in it, decide what you want to do with that truth, then throw that fish back to sea.
9. Every time you walk into a room, push your shoulders back, hold your head high and say to yourself, “I am more than enough.”
10. In all things serious, remember to find humor.
And so I add number eleven…
11. If you pee on a public toilet seat, wipe it up for craps sake.