Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Paradoxicalness of Mother/Daughter Relationships

Number two daughter, number four daughter (the youngest) and I went to an R rated movie last night. There had been some discussion about whether mom would like this movie, especially by number three daughter who thought not. She I think wanted to protect my sensibilities.

I didn't really feel like going to a movie that was to start at 11 p.m. I had a bit of a headache and was tired. But being a mommy, and having been invited to a late movie by number two daughter who no longer lives at home, I wondered if perhaps she was restless and needed my company. Being the mommy I am, I agreed to go.

So I put on a half pot of coffee to get a cup in before arriving a half hour later at the theater, thinking I'd never stay awake. "Oh mom, this isn't a movie you could fall asleep to." The movie? Hangover. I laughed through the entire movie and all the way home. No worries number three daughter. I can't say I am always in the mood for that sort of movie, but my daughters have managed to include, or at least influence, their father and me to see such movies in the genre of Hangover, 40 Year Old Virgin, and Knocked Up. I can't say they are my favorite types of movies, and I can't say I'd see them without my daughters' influence, but what is the point of all this?

It's a surreal experience, a weird juxtaposition, a dichotomy. I'm not sure any word or phrase accurately describes what it feels like to view such a movie with someone I pushed out of my body and watched take the first breath of life. The same thoughts occur when we are in a bar or restaurant drinking a glass of wine with the two who are of age, or having one of them join my sister (their aunt), a former roommate of mine and me for a girls' night. While I can't really ever get past the strangeness of it, I celebrate that for now I am enthusiastically included. I'm not sure that will always be the case, and I'm flattered that they seem to enjoy my company and want me around. They talk to me about anything and everything.

When it comes to their father, it is even more strange and actually difficult for him. More often than going with the girls, Ed would see the movie with me separately at their encouragement. If they were with us, he would likely be covering his eyes or ears and not really see it. There is something inexplicably difficult for him to even be in the room with them when certain things are discussed (like women's natural body functions...the girls used to refer to it as "Aunt Martha visiting.") He'll squeeze his eyes shut, put his hands over his ears and drown out the discussion by singing loudly. But for now, I'm one of the girls, one of them, and I will bask in it for as long as it lasts.

I wonder what stage will come next; probably I'll be asked to babysit so the sisters can go out together. We aren't even close to that yet, but when it comes, I'm sure I'll enjoy that just as much.

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