Nurturing the Mother-Daughter Bond
I am acutely aware of the fact that my beautiful daughter Meera is growing up. I’m noticing her dipping the tips of her toes into the shallows of pre-pubescence while at the same time still being a child who lets me call her “monkey.” I take note of her tender innocence and how at age nine and a half she still needs me in the particular way that girls need their Mamas.
Meera is blessed to have a wonderful relationship with her Papa who loves her deeply and I am happy to say that he and I co-parent gracefully overall holding a consistent container for our daughter in our two households while accommodating the needs of one another’s personal and professional lives.
Recently there was a week when we shifted our schedule around since I was in a potent Tending to Attachment training over in Berkeley and I’d arranged for Meera to stay at her Papa’s house which meant that I would not see her for a stretch that was longer than usual since it was a “Papa weekend.” Upon hearing this she declared, “What? That would mean I won’t see you for five days!”
I really heard the strength of her voice and felt the urgency of her delivery. I took in her feelings letting them pierce me while holding her experience in the context of the attachment work I was engaged in as I sat with the decision at hand. I could either to tend to the part of myself that desired to spend the night moving and playing steeped in creative expression at the Contact Improv Jam or be Mama and surrender any previous ideas I may have had as to how my night would look and come directly home to spend quality time with my daughter.
We as parents face these kinds of decisions on a regular basis and I often choose self-care being that this is something I value immensely and am committed to modeling for Meera. I know that by and large children will adapt to their circumstances; human beings are incredibly resilient and yet it was clear that the truth was that my quickly coming of age daughter needed me. Sometimes you just know and this was one of those times.
After all how much longer is my daughter going to take such an emphatic stand for hanging out with her Mama?
I cherish each moment we spend together and the gift of getting to watch her evolve into a young maiden (almost) who is thoughtful, caring, articulate, emotionally aware, sassy and stylish— oh the fashionista she has become! These pre-adolescent years offer a kind of magic; she is young yet wise, innocent as she offers crystals and other treasures to the fairies hanging them off the branches of the oleander bush growing in her little fairy garden and yet mature enough to speak honestly even in uncomfortable moments, snuggly as she crawls into bed with me in the mornings and at other times fiercely independent as she brushes away my offer to help with her math homework saying,”No thanks. I’ve got this Mama.”
It’s clear that she is really coming into her own and that this is something to celebrate!
There will be lots of other nights for dancing and being with friends. My heart smiles softly and I breathe with ease after having shared such a sweet time with my child. Part of the sweetness is in knowing that my decision was informed by the recognition of the reality that the time I spend with my daughter is an investment in her wholeness and that choosing to be with her reinforces her secure attachment. It was obvious for me to tend to the loving connection between us— this undeniable mother-daughter bond that Meera will rest into again and again; this is a deep connection that feeds us both— a mysterious kind of feminine nourishment that seeps in much like sweet springtime rains seep into the earth.
My vision for Meera is that she will walk through the world emanating the feeling that she has been raised in a loving and caring two-home family and that as a result of this she will move with joyful grace trusting the stable base of love within her as she rises up to welcome the life that is hers to live.