Thursday, February 02, 2006
So very many women I know seem to have this ongoing push-pull relationship with their mothers. Mothers know exactly what buttons to push (the same way daughters do, very early on, in my experience!). Daughters push back. Small commentary becomes magnified by the ongoing relationship into Big Smackdowns. If you google mothers daughters, you'll get an assortment of articles showing how moms support their daughters...or don't. You'll find questions like My mom doesn't like me...What do I do? on the Today Show. You'll find the intricate dance between the generations chronicled everywhere. OmegaMom seems to have a charmed relationship with OmegaGranny. I love, admire, respect my mom. She's one of my very best friends. I don't ever take a comment such as, "Maybe you should do x..." from my mom in the wrong way, because I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that coming from her, it is an exploration, a question rooted in love for me. A "Why don't you do y?" from her is not seen as a snipe--the way, alas, it can be seen coming from Great-Grandma--but as a honest question. I don't know how we lucked out. Or I do: it's based in the fact that OmegaGranny is just a really all-around special person, intelligent, interesting, forward-looking, willing to try new things, an endless source of second-hand science fiction books (thanks!). The only thing I know of that OmegaGranny has tried that she hasn't learned and become comfortable with is driving. OmegaGranny got a degree in sociology (almost--she never sent in the $$ for the final piece of paper, shame, shame, OmegaGranny!). She interned at one of the big newspapers on the East Coast, and has grand stories of the old city editors, cigars in mouth, shouting out commands and demanding quick work. She got a job as a journalist in a small neighborhood newspaper in Chicago. She moved on to working for a business publisher in Chicago, and moved her way up to Managing Editor of an international restaurant magazine. She traveled to Europe, to China when it first opened up...she brought back Mozart Chocolates and intricately decorated European card decks...she was an inspiration, because she was doing the feminist thang even before it was fashionable. She has supported me through some seriously rough spots, and I have tried to do the same as her new title--"widow"--becomes something less new and spiky-edged. I cherish the times we get together, no matter if we're doing something new and different, or just hanging around, simply because I like her so much. Liking someone in your family is different than loving them; we love them because...well...because we have to. There are sayings about how friends are the family we choose. I'd like to think that OmegaGranny and I would be friends if we met each other, even if we weren't related. It's OmegaGranny's birthday today. She turns 79. Happy Birthday, mamasan. I love you.