How did we get here? Twenty-one years of loving, laughing, crying, screaming, talking, hugging, fighting, making up, hugging some more, spooning, caring, and always coming back to home base: the deep love between a mother and daughter.

I had a mother who loved me so fiercely and so unconditionally, and yet prickly mother-daughter dynamics seemed to sneak in from time to time. The issues that arise from one person trying to establish her independence from her very life source. I had countless teenaged-issues with my mom, and then again as I tried to establish myself as a mother and do things my way. Which meant doing them differently from Mama. And now, I honor that dynamic. I’ve lived through it with my own mother and I watch it with my girl.

My daughter is living on her own, making her own decisions. From the serious ones to the mundane ones. What I’m learning is that the more I let go of her, the more she comes back to me, her home-base. A silly example of this happened Saturday. Whereas in her high school days, she would rarely have consulted with me on a clothing purchase, just yesterday she FaceTimed me from a vintage clothing store in Greensboro, NC to ask my opinion between two dresses she was considering. Hours later we got a photo of her before she went out for her birthday celebration, and there she was, resplendent in her new dress. The very one I loved most. Sometimes, daughters know but just need to hear it from their moms, regardless of the decision. And that is how our legacies live on. The voices of our mothers living in our hearts and minds.

Happy Birthday, my most precious daughter. My only daughter. My beloved.
I love you so, my Livi-doe.


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