I was on the road that day, somewhere in Iowa, on my way to a five day intensive writing workshop with Margie Lawson, having a "deluxe continental breakfast." Not really sure what continent it might be from, but the coffee is fabulous.
But the topic of conversation on the TODAY show
overhead was whether mothers and daughters can be best friends. They
interview a set who are, at the same time the experts are horrified and
gasping "no! No!"
asked M recently if she'd done it on purpose, moved away to exclude me.
She laughed and called me a "silly mom" and assured me it wasn't like
So many people I know in our small town live here forever.
As do their parents. Children. Brothers. Sisters. Cousins. Even the ones
once removed. Big family parties, cookouts, so on. I see B doing this
with her new family, and I'm glad she has the support.
So am I
wishing they were too frightened of the "big world outside" to leave to
stay home near me? Of course not. Maybe I've just done my job and sent
them out, free and secure, to fly on their own, like any good mother
At the same time, I resent only seeing them once every year
or two. I wish they were close so we could do things together, so I
wouldn't worry when they had hard times, so I could pop over with a pot
roast when I knew they needed it.
Mary Quigley quotes Jonas Salk like this:
parents give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home
is, wings to fly away and exercise what’s been taught them. — Jonas Salk
makes some good points in her piece on adult children. It's certainly
not my intention to become a helicopter parent. I hate flying, for one.
But I have grandchildren I hardly know, and all three of these girls are
just slipping away in the passage of time. None of us knows how much
time might be allotted to us. We might say, "Oh, someday we'll..." but
we don't know whether we'll ever get that chance.
Meantime, I suppose, I should be grateful they're flying so successfully. If they don't need me then I've done my job, right? It makes sense. But sometimes it just doesn't satisfy my heart.