Today one of my church leaders addressed mothers and daughters in our semi-annual general conference. As I listened, an interesting thing happened to me- I realized that I had ceased to think of myself as a daughter. Really, when a talk or an article addresses mothers and daughters I mainly identify with the idea of myself as a mother, and I'm not sure when that happened.
Certainly not when Dobbie was born. Or Buo. I don't think it was even when the girls were born. It must have happened sometime though because I was acutely aware of it at that moment. And I'm not sure it is necessarily a good thing. I'm really not sure that it is all bad either. I think I have decided that it just- is.
The church leader went on to give advice and counsel to young women in regard to their mothers and the wisdom in following their example. I think it was then that it really hit me. As always when I hear a talk like this I was uncomfortably aware of my own shortcomings as a parent. And then my mind wandered. I thought of my own mother and her shortcomings. They are, in the overall scheme of things, mild, but she too, is painfully aware of them, I know. I thought of friends who struggle with their relationships with their own mothers and, I must say, there is a great deal to struggle with in some situations. I know children who have suffered in the hands of abusive parents. I have friends who struggle even now, with the effects of their upbringing. I thought of people I know with mothers like this and how they have to move on and away from these ties to survive in their own skins.
But I also thought of this.
I have a great deal still left to learn.
And every day I learn it.
Some days I learn it from my neighbor lady. Some days I learn it from my daughters. Or my sons. Some days I learn it from my husband. A co-worker. The person who bags my groceries. Or a primary child. Even my tiny mother-in-law with whom I communicate in a mixture of Spanglish and hand gestures. And, yes, many days I still learn it from my own mother and father.
And always, always, I learn it from my Father in Heaven.
I have decided that I'm not done with being a daughter. And I don't think I want to be.