Monday, August 29, 2011

My Daughters, My Friends

When my eldest daughter was eight months old, she was a poor eater.  I don’t remember what I told the pediatrician about it, but he responded, “Mrs. Hall, you are her mother, not her friend.”
As our family grew, we had five daughters and two sons.  Our long dining table was so obviously dominated by females, that while I was pregnant with one of the younger ones, my first born son actually prayed that I was carrying male triplets.  That never happened, but he had hopes.
I was a disciplinarian and my husband, the softy.   Over the years, the pediatrician’s advice came back to me many, many times.  I would insist on curfews, appropriate dress and proper friendships.  For several years, we held a monthly teen meeting with a "cool" speaker, followed by a party in our finished basement.  Many of the friendships they forged have continued to this day.  As those teens reached college age, our younger daughters weren’t interested in a teen meeting, so we just went with the flow.
Over the years, through the death of my youngest son at 6 ½ half due to a severe heart problem, and other hard times later in life, they didn’t fall apart.  We were still family.
My daughters are all adults and married now….three on the East Coast and two on the West.  Yet, text messages and cell phones keep them very close.  They steadfastly encourage my pursuits and report to each other when concerned about what I do.  While each has their friends, I am always included, as one of the girls, in their excursions to dinner, shopping, plays, card nights, etc.  What amazes me is that in spite of my being a strict mother, each has chosen to make me her friend.

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