The Goddess Speaks
Daughter's friendship proves lasting
MY DAUGHTER is my best friend. While for many this might come as no surprise, to me it has been quite unexpected.
I've always wanted a best friend. In grade school I envied the pairs of girls who skipped along, holding hands and singing silly songs together about the icky boys. They shared secret languages and sweet sticky treats from their brown-bag lunches prepared by loving mothers and brought from home.
Adolescence was no different. I had friends but not a best friend. I longed for a girlfriend with whom I'd share clothes and giggles and late-night talks about boys and teachers and homework. We'd do EVERYTHING together: Friday-night football games, trips to the mall, apply to college, maybe even date twins. We'd always have each other as we faced peer pressure and parents and the world beyond our back yards.
Even as an adult, regardless of the wonderful friends I have enjoyed, the closeness of my sisters, the intimacy of romantic relationships, I've still dreamed of that one special friend I could call my best.
After my daughter was born, I wished for another new mom to share my morning coffee. We would push our strollers through the park together, getting some exercise. We might even live right next door to each other in our suburban homes.
Alas, it was not to be. While my friendships are deep and interesting and solid, there's never been that one best one.
I NEVER SAW my role in my daughter's life as friend. She was my responsibility. I would nurture her. Be her guide, her role model, her protector -- her mother. She was to listen and learn, show respect and grow up. Friendship was never a part of the deal.
But it turns out we know each other better than anyone I've known before. She is in tune to every nuance about me, and I hers, in return.
She knows by the slight sniffle of my nose in the front seat of the car that I am sad and asks, "What's wrong?" I tell her, "Nothing," but she won't drop it until I give her some explanation. She feels sad, too, until I help her understand.
When I am happy and playful, she is jubilant. She mirrors my hope, my fear, my confusion, my satisfaction, and I hers, in return.
She can even read my mind. Countless times, driving down the road, random thoughts flit through my head as she voices the same out loud. It's uncanny.
And she is always happy to see me, never tired of being together. When I walk in the room, her face lights up with joy. Of course, I feel the same way.
What a pleasure to find such a friend.
Together we sing silly songs. I give her treats and special notes in her pink lunch box. We talk and giggle and share -- each in our own way. For now we do everything together -- until she's ready to venture forth from our back yard.
But even then, I hope our friendship will last.
While being a mom is definitely the bomb, being friends with my daughter is totally the best.
Lorraine Gershun is publications adviser for Searider Productions at Waianae High School and mom to 10-year-old Malina.
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