“Those were the days,” indeed! You couldn’t pay me to go back!
Junior high…the days of crushes on boys and crazy hair, of changing schools and my dad’s second divorce, of hating myself and writing of suicide (which was just writing, I assure you). High school…when I found my niche but had to take on a new stepmother, when I had to make a choice between college and family acceptance, when I painstakingly plotted my escape and worked so hard academically that I became addicted to coffee. College…well, I wouldn’t go back, because I wouldn’t go back to much in my life that doesn’t have my hubby in it, but it was there that I discovered that I was an OK person.
And just what does this have to do with my understanding of the mother-daughter bond? I have only begun to appreciate what “mother” means, and it is thanks to Mother Mary that I am getting “on track” with that. Somewhere along the line, I started thinking it was OK to hurt my mother; I spent five years not speaking to her for what I see now as silly, misconstrued reasons. I have thought a lot about that five year time span in the last 18 months of my own experiences as a mother. I can’t help but think of the people who have told me (not without a small amount of evil laughter) that “I’ll get what I deserve” with my children.
Well, if I get what I deserve, then I shouldn’t procreate, because my husband doesn’t deserve that at all!
But I think that phrase means something else entirely. It reminds me that the pain I inflicted, back before I understood what pain it was, will be inflicted on me somehow. It points me to the foot of the cross, where I see the pain that I inflict on others and the pain that He has borne for all of us.
I hope that my daughter does not pierce my heart as I pierced my mother’s. I hope that I don’t cause misunderstandings with my children as adults in my life caused in mine. I pray that I can surrender to Thy will, and not insist on my will.