“Momma, you are my best friend. I love you so much.” These words echo in my ear at least five to ten times a day. Impromptu hugs, kisses on the cheek, and cuddles are a regular staple of my daughter’s daily routine. The recipient of these gems is usually me.
She is six, an age where unconditional love is abundant. When we walk in the parking lot to school, she grabs my hand even when there are no cars in the immediate pathway. In the middle of the night, she often wakes up, groggy, checks her surroundings, and whispers “Momma.” I ask her if she is fine and she responds, “Yes, Momma. I am fine. I was just checking on you.” Every single day she sketches and colors pictures of the three of us, she in the middle, and my husband and I decorate each side of her. Everyone is always smiling. Even when I scold her, minutes, no, seconds later, she asks “Momma, are you still mad at me?” She follows me around as I do chores, asking me how she can help. Sometimes I think I’ve put my daughter in a hypnotic trance and I wonder at what age her adoration for me will end.
When will I not be enough for my daughter? When will she forget those smiles in the picture? I grab her tight, squashing down the doubts, trying to embrace what is, rather than what she may see as what isn’t sometime in the future. Will she remember the feeling in that picture? The Saturday afternoon at a friend’s birthday party. A photographer approached us and asked if we wanted to get a mother and daughter shot. “Let’s do it, Momma.” My daughter shrieked at memorializing this moment. I hold her tight in my embrace. And she extends her hand, I do the same in unison. I can feel her smile, her toothless grin excited that she can take a picture with her Momma. This fills me up and I smile, with a full heart, wanting to put this moment in bubble that never pops.
I wonder at what age she will forget.
This piece is part of Momalom’s Five for Five Series. This is my response to the prompt age.
Such a sweet picture. She’ll always remember how much she loves her Momma though she may show it in different ways as she matures. I adore this beautiful bond you have with her.
Gorgeous, gorgeous words. Gorgeous, gorgeous photo.
And I, too, worry about the day I am not enough for them. Oh, how I worry.
One of my daughters just turned 30 (I still can’t believe this) and she still tells me and writes me often that I’m her best friend. This is such a sweet piece. Especially that she whispers Momma when she stirs in sleep. What a sweetheart. It will surprise you, I’m sure, as it often does me, what she will remember. Precious things. Things you’ve forgotten. Some that you both retain in memory. All that are gained with the passage of each day and night. All that you always hold onto.
She will always remember and she will always carry you in her heart. Not a day passes that I don’t think of my parents and how they loved me and I loved them. Love never goes away. My older son is now a man and we were always extremely close and we still are. When he hears my voice he always knows if something is wrong. I wrote a poem about how humbled I was when I found out that in an interview when he was asked who is his hero, he said it was me. I was shocked because he had met so many people he had looked up to. I felt really proud. Your daughter will always have adoration for you and she will never forget . xo
I know – I often think of this and am afraid to face the answer. I love the adoration and the us-against-the-world feeling now but when does it end? I’d rather not know…
Beautiful picture of two gorgeous girls by the way.
She will never forget. The teenage years, as you know, are ripe with confusion. But its confusion. Once we all find our way out of the tunnel of hormones our mothers are always on the other side waiting for us. Especially the good ones, and you are one of the good ones. Your daughter makes you very aware of this with every unconditional “I love you” she whispers in your ear.
As a teen, she will forget for a while, and it will crush you, but she will come back to you. Love like that cannot be denied.
I am scared of this too–but I’m hoping for all of us it will be a change, not a forgetfulness.
I worry, too, Rudri. Story has it that I was once my mama’s girl, but I have no memory of it. For me, things changed at a very young age (4ish), so I think we’ve both escaped the age of forgetfulness. (I’m holding onto TKW’s promise that they’ll be back after the teen years pull them away from us.)
Beautiful post Rudri and something I wonder about too. How long until they no longer think you hung the moon and the stars? How long until they no longer want to bestow a kiss or hug, to be seen with you in public? I dread the thought of those changes, the thought of being pushed away so I’m trying to focus on the moments, enjoy the hand holding, the constant barrage of “I love you”.
You need to read The Mother Daughter Project. I am reading it with a group of women who have daughters my daughters age and it directly addresses this pull that girls supposedly feel and society encourages to move away from their moms as they enter adolescence when they need us the most. The idea is that neither the girls nor the moms actually want to reduce the strength of their relationship but society, and marketers in particular, push on us. The solution the book proposes is to establish a group of like minded moms and daughters and meet with them with and without your daughter monthly starting in elementary school. I’m enjoying it so far.
She’ll remember. These feelings stay, of that I am sure. The feelings may change in the manner in which they’re shown, but they will always remain.
With the pictures – she won’t forget, and neither will you. But more importantly, you two have woven a foundation of thousands of moments – acts of love, words of love, glances that cement your trust and belief in each other.
Whether our children – or we, for that matter – recall the specifics of certain days seems less important as they grow older, and we grow older. We see them coming to independence gradually (which allows us to adjust as well), and we see them do so confidently when the foundational years are solid.
This is what I believe. It has been true for my boys – at least I think so – even with some very difficult years that were less about us as individuals, and more about the circumstances we were living.
They do grow away from us with age – but you might be surprised at how many more years that fierce and unflinching love will remain.
Right now I get 15 kisses at bedtime, constant snuggles & cuddles. I have to remind myself all the time that this kind of affection can’t last forever…but maybe it does for some parents? Surely there are some teenagers out there who still adore their parents!
This wondering keeps me up at night. Beautiful photo!
Oh, I have brief glimpses of her turning love to hate. But under that is still a deep love. I just hope she is never indifferent. That would wreck me.
This is really beautiful. I’ve gone through this a lot too…I remember when my son was 5 and I must have been asking hypothetical questions…I asked him if he would still love me if I were mean to him, and he said “Yes.” I was so taken aback. Our children really love us. And somehow I can’t imagine your daughter will forget all this. Maybe her growing need for independence will bring some conflict, and she will become more subtle in how she shows her love, but she will always, always love you in the same way, and perhaps in new and deeper ways once she becomes an adult and a mother, and begins to see you in a different light.
I love that photo. Her hands and your hands all joined together. We can anticipate a going away, but I agree with Kitch. Lay the foundation. She will come back, even if it gets a little rocky. (I’m counting on it, anyway!)
I love this picture. I think about this all the time….