John and I met G and her boyfriend in the city for dinner earlier this week, we had a lovely time.
My daughter is nineteen; musically gifted and talented beyond belief. She is also gorgeous, funny, confident, poised, mature well beyond her years, sensitive, compassionate, creative and brilliant. That I love her openly and without condition goes without saying – but I also like and admire her, tremendously.
On the way home, John and I were talking, and he said, “She is so like you,” I knew what he meant, and it had nothing to do with G’s attributes, some of which I noted above …
Case-in-point, G’s tastes are similar to my own; her boyfriend is older and already successful in his career – she has confided in me that she does not want to spend her time making a boy into a man.
The kind of man G is attracted to also strikes a familiar chord; dominant, powerful, and over-flowing with raw sexual energy.
And then, of course, there is BDSM. As with me, you will find no hints – no tattoos or piercings so stereotypical of The Scene to tip you off; a collar chosen for G would be made of pearl or fine gem stones.
For all the similarities, there is one glaring difference; G has never felt the need to pretend, or hide. She has never denied this part of who she is – never been afraid to pursue her desires or indulge her needs. She is reserved, but only to a point – she does not allow this characteristic to define her. She is light years beyond where I was at nineteen, and I couldn’t be happier about that.
I was given an incredible gift; my father lived his life proudly, as he believed he should, and he allowed me to watch. He modeled strength, integrity, honor, purpose and dedication to family legacy, as well as to himself. He taught by example, not by suggestion, directive or edict.
As a mother, I have tried to be the kind of parent to my children that my father was to me; I failed, once upon a time …
I modeled a life I would not wish for my children – a life devoid of intimate fulfillment. A life that denied my true self and who I am … as they watched, and learned.
My children saw my dedication to them, to their father, to my career and my patients, to a life well lived – a life played by the rules society is comfortable with, never mind true happiness.
What they didn’t see was a mother dedicated to her own knowledge of who she is, which is perhaps the most important gift a parent can give a child …
not permission to be all of who they are – but an absolute, an imperative; you must be who and what you are.
As always, a living example is the best guide.
I got there, eventually, and perhaps that is what matters – even as parents we are on our own journey.
But if I could go back and do it all again …
I’d take the handsome young, but still considerably older than I, doctor’s hand and have that cup of coffee.
Not because hindsight is 20/20
but because it would be the right thing to do.