It was a rite of passage which never happened for me.
I waited to have an awful relationship with one of my daughters. I thought it was inevitable as transitioning from diapers to big girl panties, but to this day it is still a personal unknown for me.
My youngest daughter is going on seventeen and so far, all is well. My daughters' friends even like me.
There are three things I attribute this to:
1. Very open lines of communication. This leads to trust which takes away fear of speaking up, a challenge many adults I know possess.
2. Willingness to host and entertain teens, even when they are much louder than I would like.
3. Regular "Mother-Daughter Days."
Yesterday my twenty-two year old daughter and I took a "chore" of going to Los Angeles Airport into a Mommy-Daughter adventure. We visited some architectural salvage sights, at one point stepped into a laundromat-subway-starbucks-moneygram very loud place that made us feel like we had stepped into the third world.
We bought old keys to nothing we own and doorknobs from the early 20th century that no longer have doors - or homes - attached to them.
We werein our car, heading to lunch when everything felt very familiar.
It isn't that things looked familiar or there were landmarks I recognized, it was simply something that changed in me, like the way hunger or thirst feels.
I decided to look up the address to my father's childhood home on my GPS. Sure enough, we had passed my father's old neighborhood in Pasadena. There was no doubt about it: we had to visit the home where my Dad and Katherine's Grandpa grew up. First we ventured to lunch at another familiar place - a restaurant I used to nosh in when I was a young married professional. We laughed that it had been twenty-five years between visits.
We eventually made it to the airport and before long I was texting her from one of my favorite thrift shops, Out of the Closet, to see if she wanted a particular Banana Republic cardigan.
She flew off to Seattle and I continued my zany day which included sunset on the Santa Monica Pier, an opening of an art show in the Culver City Arts District and an open mic event in Encino. By the time I got on the road back to Bakersfield I was thoroughly exhausted and satisfied.
This morning my youngest daughter lamented she didn't get to participate.
My daughters actually want to do things with me.
Isn't that what all mothers hope for with their daughters?
Go back to the very simple steps:
1. Create open lines of communication
2. Be willing to host (even when it gets loud.)
3. Schedule REGULAR Mother-Daughter days.
My daughters and I have disagreements. My daughters and I regularly annoy each other. AND these three simple actions have taken our relationships deeper, wider and just a lot more fun.
What adventures have you had with your daughter lately?
Julie Jordan Scott is a writer, performance poet, Mommy and mixed-media artist. Her word-love themed art will be for sale at a First Friday soon, when it is warmer than it was in December!, in Downtown Bakersfield. Check out the links below to follow her on a bunch of different social media channels, especially if you find the idea of a Word-Love Party bus particularly enticing.
Please stay in touch: Follow me on Twitter: @JulieJordanScot
Be sure to "Like" WritingCampwithJJS on Facebook. (Thank you!)
And naturally, on Pinterest, too!
© 2014 - Julie Jordan Scott - all rights reserved.