Monday, November 20, 2006

You have been warned; mushy stuff ahead.

Today my baby girl is 16.

She will never read this, and she already knows it because i tell her, but i want to tell you.

Em is a quirky, funny, sarcastic, and most surprising to me, happy person. She and i get along surprisingly well, (but i am still her mother) and she gets my sense of humor.

She and i both have the habit of breaking into song with the least provocation. After which the Mister will say, “You are in trouble Em, it’s clearly a hereditary trait.” (It's better when she does it because her singing is nice. Mine, not so much.)

She has always taken care of her own school work. I don’t pay any attention to her homework, projects or tests. And she does very well, so i don’t need to. No one paid any attention to me when i was in school either, but i did not do well for a long time.

This summer, she went on a trip for a few days to Ashland, OR, to the Shakespeare festival. We went to the Oregon coast for the same few days, so we stopped at a greasy hamburger place on I-5 in order to meet the other family and take Em home from there. She was eager to come with us, which surprised me, as she was with her best friend. We were all very silly on the way home. We got stuck in traffic and so i was threatening to open my car window and offer the driver next to us $5 if he would sell us the bobble-headed moose from off his dashboard. Em actually sighed with relief and said that she had had a good time on her trip, but that NO ONE WAS SILLY the entire time. She needed a silly fix. I can still crack her up with my imitation of a bobble-headed moose.

She gives me books to read. “Here mommy, i think you’d like this.”

She makes me CD mixes of her favorite songs with written explanations of why the songs are special to her. The explanations are 3-4 pages long. I read it all and listen to the songs.

Who would have thought that that pissed off blue-handed and blue-footed baby born 16 years ago would turn into such a great person?

My body has given birth to a friend. (I warned you!)


Gretchen said...

What a wonderful letter to your girl! She sure is lucky to have yor for a mom!

Maya's Granny said...

My mother and I and my daughter and I have that kind of a relationship. It is the most wonderful thing in the world.

Imez said...

Thanks, Meno.

I'm so glad to read this. I'm so glad for you.

QT said...

I am so happy for you - I did not have this type of relationship with my mother growing up, but we do now. I feel like I wasted a lot of time.

This was a very sweet post -thanks for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

What a precious glimpse.
I'm determined to get there. Somewhere like there.

Anonymous said...

Awww, that was wonderful. Thank you for sharing. And Happy Birthday Em! (Is she chomping at the bit to start driving?

thailandchani said...

Why do you say she won't read it? She would probably love to see this. :)

Hey, Em! Over here! Look up "Meno's Blog" on the Internet and read. LOL ~ And Happy Birthday.




Anonymous said...

Sweet! You guys have the kind of relationship that Mothers dream about, and daughters believe exist only on mediocre cable TV dramas.

Congratulations Em, please be careful. If you don't know how lucky you are now, don't worry it will come to you if you ever decide to raise a child of your own.

Anonymous said...

I looove this kind of mushy stuff!
Having given birth to a friend : such a lovely way of putting things. Have a nice celebration.

Josephine said...

Aw, shucks, Meno. That is pure and wonderful.

Thank you for telling us, and happy, happy sweet sixteen to your beautiful devil spawn.


meno said...

gretchen, thanks, we are both lucky. Although some days there are fights!

maya's granny, that is so great! I wish i had that with my mom so we could have more multi-generational fun.

esereth, i know you are anxious about your own baby, but good things are so possible.

qt, you are welcome.

de, you will.

greent, nope, she's totally uninterested. And i'm okay with that.

Chani, if she read this blog, then i couldn't write many of the things i do. But i know she would love it. Maybe someday.

patches, well, it's not always love and roses, but more often than not it is.

caro, yeah, i love it too. But please don't tell anyone okay?

Anonymous said...

aww, you're so sweet! I love my mama, and can say she's my best friend, but only in the past 15 years or so has that been the case. jess, on the other hand, feels more like a friend than daughter, most days. I'm so grateful for that, and I know first hand just how lucky y'all are.

urban-urchin said...

This was so beautiful. I'm wondering, will you adopt me? You are an awesome mom. Em is a lucky lucky girl.

Unknown said...

Aw. Happy birthday to Em.

And are so cool.

Mother of Invention said...

You are so lucky to have such a two-way open and sharing relationship. That was so far from what we had in the 50's with our mothers!

lu said...

Just how cool is that?

Very cool.

Happy birthday to your girl!

Girlplustwo said...

this moved me to tears. i always wanted and never had what you've described...and i so hope with every fiber of my being that i can have that with M. I SO hope.

what a lovely tribute to you, dear meno, for giving her exactly what she needed which meant she was able to stay close.

Debbie said...

oh my GOD - that's wonderful.

I pray for something remotely similar in my relationship to my son (and any future kid).

you lucky. and happy birthday to the girl. :)

Anonymous said...

I really really hope you save all that stuff for her. There is just so much I threw away along the way thinking I would never need or want it again.

I was wrong. I want it all back.

Sonia Wetzel Photography said...

Happy Birthday Em!!!

Dick said...

Having a good relationship with your kids is a wonderful thing that you will enjoy even more as they get older. My oldest one is here tonight. He drove up from his ship at Everett to spend the night visiting his Dad. I plan to drive to Arlington tomorrow morning to have a mocha with my younger son while Pat is working at her volunteer job at the hospital. If you have a good relationship with them at Em's age it will continue and they will want to spend time with you even after they are out on their own. That is a very good thing.

Mrs. Chili said...

I have two girls - currently aged 9 and 7. I'm really, desperately hoping that our relationships end up like yours and am doing everything in my power right now to see that they do.

Lynnea said...

Sweet 16! I wish I had had a relationship like that with my mom, as you know. But I am excited to foster great relationships with my kids. So far, its going ok. Our best gauge is our 10 year old son who is doing well so far.

Breaking out in song - I do that too! My husband says he can tell when I'm in an especially good mood because I walk around the house making up songs. (I don't sing well though, its rather comical).

karmic said...

Sweet post. And a happy b'day to Em. You have raised a fine daughter and a wonderful human being. More power to you. :)

sari said...

"My body has given birth to a friend"...

I think that's the nicest thing I've ever read.

I can tell you after a weekend with my family, silly = good. I would've offered a little more for the moose, though.

Happy birthday to Em!

Antonia Cornwell said...

I read this at 0230 this morning and I wanted to tell you then how wonderful it is, but I was balancing my own small, windy daughter on my shoulder and I'm an agonisingly slow one-handed typist.

All I want is to bring our daughter up to share our sense of humour and find the same refuge in it as Em does in yours. I would love to know what your basic principles of parenting are. You're a wonderful mother, Meno: the proof's in the pudding.

Bob said...

that is beautiful. Even if Em doesn't read this blog maybe she should get a peak at this love letter.

My daughter and wife have this kind of relationship. When my daughter comes home from college she heads straight for my wife and they have a good sit-down. She calls me when there is car trouble, computer trouble, directions, what courses to take. I'm Mr. Wizard compared to my wife being Dear Abby. My daughter and I share the music thing, though. She makes me CD's to listen to and I help her with 20 year old song lyrics. We all share the same sense of humor (which means the kids are always stealing our DVD's.)

meno said...

josephine, thanks! Really.

holly, i can tell by the way you write about your daughter that she's a friend. Ain't it great?

mombat, The big celebration will have to wait as Em had a paper due and it was a school night. But we will celebrate.

u-u, absolutely, i'll have the papers drawn up. :)

nancy, thank you ma'am.

MOI, so so so so far away.

lu, and thank you too.

jen, it took me a while to realize it, but one of my biggest fears about having a child was that we would end up with a relationship like my mother's and mine. What did i know about being a good parent? But i am living proof that it doesn't have to happen like that.

lildb, i feel really lucky. And you'll do fine.

kerewin, the bad news is that i'm a thrower-outer.

ddm, thanks. :)

dick, that is so great! I look forward to being Em's friend as she gets older and moves out of the house.

mrs. chili, i think you'll do fine, i really do.

maggie, getting to know you..getting to know all about you... Oh, sorry. Where was i? I sing camp songs when i'm happy.

sanjay, thank you. She is a great kid.

sari, it's probably the nicest thing i've ever thought too. So, you think the moose would have gone for $10?

antonia, i often end up typing with one hand because of a feline. But the difference there is that you can shoo them away when they start to annoy you. The basic principles are short. Tell her you love her often. Treat her respectfully, not like she's a pain in the ass (which they surely can be). Understand that very often they are doing the best they can, and when you fuck up, and you will, apologize sincerely and don't blame them.

bob, maybe i will copy it and e-mail it to her. But then she'll want to know where it came from and damn is she a clever little detective. It sound like your kids are pretty lucky to have you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the tears this evening. The very best kind of tears. I just love this stuff.

I hope her birthday was a happy one, and the year to come, even better.

egan said...

Great tribute to your daughter. This is nice to read in a blogosphere crowded with whiny angst filled posts, mine included. Take care and have a great Turkey Day.

Hey, was that Burgerville USA where you stopped?

KC said...

This is my dream, that my daughter and I will have that kind of relationship. What's the secret?

If it's breaking out into song spontaneously, I'm gold.

(Although I'm a bit of a girly girl and she, 100% WWF brute.)