Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Trip to Remember: A Mother and Daughter's Perspectives

A Daughter's Perspective

When you get a text from your Mother asking if you'd like to go on a trip, somewhere hot no less, not to mention her treat what other answer do you have than a resounding HELL YES.

Am I right?

The last time we spent 4 consecutive days together just the two of us without any obligations, school, job etc was, as my Mum pointed out, probably the first year of my life.  So this was definitely going to be a unique experience.  I was curious.  And yes maybe a tad bit nervous about how this would all go down.

Turns out pretty darn amazing.

Except for the drive to the airport.  Which involved:  Not having a clue where we were going while driving on the highway in the dark and amongst aggressive Toronto drivers and blowing snow.  This could have gone the way of really, really bad when I realized I spoke while the GPS was speaking and my Mother (not so) subtly hinted not to speak.  Anymore.  At least when the GPS was talking.

I got the hint.

I realized something then.  I realized a lot of things on the trip actually.

1.  When travelling with your Mother you will recognize how much you are becoming her.  Such as driving skills.  My Mother and I are both good drivers.  We just aren't very good when we have no idea where we're going in bad weather and darkness.  Now I know what my husband goes through when I'm driving in situations such as these.  Which is probably why I don't drive when we're going somewhere together.

2.  When travelling with your Mother you don't have to worry about filling silences.  It's very comfortable.  You read, you nap, you walk, you talk.  It's just....nice.  Peaceful.

3.  Even though you are a 35 year old woman, wife and mother, that will not stop your own Mum from taking care of you.  From running your shower water to make sure it's warm enough when you get in.  To picking up your towels.  To bringing you drinks poolside and making sure you've had enough to eat.  The simple fact is: A Mother never stops being a Mother.

4.  She will make one of your bucket list dreams come true.  When you tell her you've always wanted to swim with dolphins?  She will make that happen.  And join you.  Even though she had no interest in doing that in the first place.  And it will be one of the coolest experiences you've had...and you shared that with your Mom.  That's pretty special.

5.  You will learn your Mother has a major sweet tooth.  She must have her tea and cookies every night before bed.  She will encourage you to break hotel rules to make sure this happens even though there is no food allowed in the rooms.  She will abscond cookies from the buffet and hide them in napkins and Styrofoam cups.  She will sneak them into your bag and the next day you will think that's sand at the bottom of it...but oh no!  Those...are cookie crumbs.

6.  You will laugh at the same things and when you will realize you have the same laugh.

7.  She will make you feel beautiful by always telling you so and constantly taking your picture.

8.  Along with making you feel beautiful, your Mother will also make you feel like you are basically the most awesome person in the world.  Best Mother, Best Wife, Best Daughter.  Turns out...Great Mother's are really good for the ego.

9.  She will tell you a story over a game of cribbage about when she was hospitalized for a really bizarre illness when you were just a baby and your Dad had to take care of you for the first time alone.  When he took you to the hospital to visit her, your Dad forgot the diapers so they had to steal one from the maternity ward and how they had a good laugh about it.  She will tell you how hard it was to be away from you and you will be reminded again how much your Mother loves you and still thinks of you as her baby girl even though you are now a grown woman, wife and Mother yourself.

10.  You will see your Mum as the same person but in a different light. You will see a lot of yourself in your Mother and realize that that! is a really wonderful thing.

A Mother's Perspective

I texted my daughter in a moment of weakness that we should take a vacation somewhere warm.  I had been working a lot, was in need of a rest and sunshine and decided to take the one person I’m the most comfortable with and love more than words can say….my daughter.  I sort of thought she’d say yes.  I also saw this as an opportunity to plant the seed that when I’m older and she picks out my retirement home it should be a good one with great food.  I also learned some things about my daughter .
1.      She can pretend to be calm when she’s actually chewing a hole through her cheek from nervousness while driving in a storm, in the dark, in uncharted territory.  It’s one of the scariest places I know which is Toronto Pearson Airport. 

2.      My daughter and I laugh at the same things and she has a beautiful infectious laugh plus she is seriously brilliant and witty…a killer combination for a travel companion.

3.     Is it the chicken or the egg syndrome here?  Did I pick up her clothes and towels before she had a chance to do it or is she still like that?  When she was a teenager I would find multiple wet towels on her bedroom floor so I guess I’ll never know.   I found I was still concerned about her well being too.  It was hot in Jamaica and I was constantly bringing her beverages to stay hydrated which resulted in me having a drink too which meant frequent trips to the washroom.  She still has the bladder of a camel. 

4.     A few years ago my daughter told me one of her bucket list items was to swim with dolphins and I remember thinking that I would help her accomplish that.  I didn’t know when or where but it kind of landed in our lap and there was no way it was getting away.  It was a complete blast and something I would never have done on my own.

5.      I rarely sit still for more than a few minutes which comes in handy when you’re being a mother hen for the first time in years and it also highlighted the fact that my daughter is one of the most calm and relaxed people I know.  Another great travel companion attribute along with her giggling willingness to commit a bit of larceny by smuggling cookies out of the restaurant. 

6.      When you’re alone with your daughter and there are no interruptions or evidence of husband and children you will start calling her Baby Girl again and when it falls out of your mouth the first time you’re gobsmacked that you just did that.  The second, fifth and tenth time it comes easy. 

7.      If you’re lucky you will learn that she is a health food freak and your grandchildren are being fed good food that is all homemade.  If you listen you will find out she adores her husband and believes him to be one of the most handsome men she knows and her children are very blessed to have him for a father….in fact he is and they are. 

8.      I think for my daughter our trip was one of those moments in everyone’s life when they suddenly see their parents aging.  You know how it is…you go along for years and your parents never age and then one day you see a new wrinkle or their eyesight isn’t as good as yours or their hearing is less than it was.  What you don’t see is the aching hands and shoulder and the myriad of worries that come with aging.  I believe she had a few moments of enlightenment. 

9.     You wonder how you raised such a beautiful woman who has confidently become her own person with surprisingly few quirks. Maybe I should give her some of mine!  We do share some similarities in many areas though, like the laugh, the love of reading, the knowledge and comfort of at least one other person on this planet who loves you as much as you love them and with whom you share a long history.

10.  You will long for retirement so you can spend more time with her and her family because really, isn’t that what‘s most important in our walk through this life?   You will have shared something that has created memories that only the two of you can share and that will come in handy when I’m in the beautiful retirement home with great food that she has so lovingly selected for me.

When I was really her Baby Girl 

1 comment:

Tanya said...

I sit at my desk with tears streaming down my face and think, wow, you are lucky to have each other, as I am to my mother. I can only hope my daughters feel the same about me someday, because I know I feel that way about them! Thank you for sharing. xox