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Monday, 13 February 2017

Monthly Musing - February 2017 - My daughter, my friend

I was absolutely convinced, when I woke up on the morning of my thirteenth birthday, that the world was going to be different.  Having officially become a Teenager, there was going to be a change that would be so noticeable that my life would never be the same again.  Sadly, when I opened my eyes on my birthday morning, I felt exactly the same.  No big fanfares, no lightning bolts to herald the arrival of my teenage years, and nothing (apart from presents and birthday cake) that made me any different from how I had been the day before.

I couldn’t tell you when exactly it was that things did seem different.  When I left school?  Started my first job?  Got married?  Had my children?  The face that looks back at me in the mirror is older, but I couldn’t tell you when exactly I knew that the world really was different.  There was no defining moment, it happened as softly as a sunset turning to twilight.

Which brings me back to this Musing.  On Friday night, my husband and I were supposed to be going out for the evening - concert tickets that I had bought for him as a Christmas present and an overnight stay in a city hotel where the concert was being held.  Unfortunately, earlier in the week, my husband hurt his back and by the evening of the concert we knew that he wouldn’t be able to go.  There was no refund on the room or the tickets and not wanting to see them unused, my husband had an idea.

I went to the concert with a young woman.  She’s stylish, beautiful, has a taste for adventure and a great sense of humour.  She was fun to spend the evening with; we talked about all kinds of things and laughed at the most ridiculous stuff, and although I wished that my husband could have come too, he was happy knowing that the evening hadn’t been wasted. 

My friend?  None other than big daughter, now old enough to appreciate nights out, share bottles of wine and have conversations that don’t involve homework or whether she’s spending too much time on social media.  Instead, we talk now about things we have in common, we watch films that we can both enjoy (that aren’t made by Disney), we go to gym classes together and my baby is no longer a baby.  When did that happen?  When did she become that person instead of the little girl she had been (it seems like) just a few years before?  Was it when she left school?  Went trekking in Peru?  Started at university?  There was no big fanfare, no lightning bolt to herald the change; one day I just opened my eyes and there was my daughter – and my friend.  And the best thing of all is that she wants to be my friend as well as my daughter, and I am very proud to call her that.  I’m a very lucky Mum.


30 comments:

  1. It is very gradual, isn't it? Otherwise it might kill us.
    The night before my 13th birthday I remember laying in bed crying, because I didn't want to grow up. Apparently, this broke my mother's heart a little, because recently she told me she went to bed that night crying because she didn't want me to grow up either.

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    1. Yes, I think that gradual change is the best way - I don't know if anybody is good with the shock of something ending and something new starting without warning. And I bet you also woke up on your 13th birthday not really feeling any different at all. It sounds like you're pretty close to your Mum now, and that has to be a good thing about growing up - maybe not so bad after all xx

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  2. What a wonderful bond you have with your daughter. It's a wonderful feeling. I have a similar relationship with my own daughter. She's only 13, but we still enjoy hanging out together and stay up until the wee hours talking and being silly. Some evenings, she serenades me with her keyboard or guitar, while I sit quietly beside her knitting or spinning.

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    1. That sounds lovely! I think it's really important to have good communication with your children and especially during their teenage years - there will be days when they don't want to talk to you, but if the habit of doing that is there then they know that you'll always be around if they change their minds xx

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  3. I have Loved reading this, it's really heartwarming. It's so true and it's lovely to see your beautiful big daughter becoming your friend

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    1. It is lovely, I'm very blessed. I'm quite sure it will be the same for you with your girls too xx

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  4. How beautiful and special. A precious relationship that will last a lifetime.

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  5. Lovely story. You're not only a lucky Mom but a beautiful Mom that raised a lovely daughter. Hugs, Pat

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  6. I very much enjoy your musings Christine. I don't remember what I thought before my 13th Birthday, birthdays were not so important in my childhood and the transition to teenage hood was not something particularly relevant. I wonder if this is a cultural thing, or just my strange family. I am looking forward to the time when I can be more friend than mother to my children, there are moments now and it feels really nice. My mum and I are not friends, which makes it all the more important for me not to make the same mistakes. x

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    1. My family never particularly made much of a fuss over birthdays either (something that we have chosen to change with our girls), but for some reason I was convinced that turning 13 was going to be Something Special. I can imagine from reading your blog posts that your children will always want you around as a friend in the future xx

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  7. How lovely, I know just where you are coming from my lovely daughter is my best friend and I don't know what I would do without her. :) xx

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  8. My elder daughter is 13 (born in January). I am such a lucky mum to have two girls (and Filippo, of course).Being mum is not always easy but it's fascinating. All the best, Beata

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    1. Ooh, you're just entering those teenage years ... the strangest thing for me was recognising myself in some of the things that my daughter did and said, which makes you realise that the generations are not so very different after all! xx

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  9. Lovely post. Brought tears to my eyes. I hope I will be able to say the same in years to come x

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    1. Thank you - and I hope you will be able to as well xx

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  10. How lovely!!! I hope that it is the start of many happy times you spend together as grown ups! Hope that your husband is much better soon too!

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    1. Thank you, and yes, my husband is much better this week thank you xx

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  11. My 2 and a half-years-old nowadays is asking million times: mum, do you want to be my best friend of mine? (me and mine always go together, just to stress the point :D). The answer is always: I'll be your mum and friend forever, and in my heart I hope it'll be true.

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    1. I don't see why it shouldn't be. Your daughter is at that lovely age when she's discovering that there's a world outside of the one she has with you, but as we tell our girls (especially when they've had a fall-out with school friends), they'll always find their best friends at home xx

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  12. What a lovely post. I went through a few challenging years with my daughter but I think those times brought us closer together. We went out to lunch last week and as we sat chatting I had a moment of clarity when I thought what a lovely, kind sweet adult you've grown into and I'm so lucky to have you. X

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    1. That's lovely! I think that being a teenager can be really tough (I wasn't always a particularly pleasant one) so to make it through to the other side relatively unscathed and still have a relationship is something to be celebrated! xx

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  13. Yes, that realisation that she is, in many ways, now old enough to be a friend and go about with was a blast for me. And the realisation that, having never had a sister, I had to be careful not to suddenly morph into a teenager-acting woman. I love spending time with my Sarah, she's such good fun. But I always have to remember that one of us is the adult and at the moment, that's still me....

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    1. Ah yes, I don't think I'd be welcome shaking my stuff in the nightclubs with big daughter and her friends, but it's nice to be able to do things together without constantly having to be on high alert as you are with younger children :-) xx

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