My favorite people are the people who begin conversations with a question…this question: “How’s Natalie?” This gives me the opportunity to communicate straight from the depths of my heart. And, it immediately puts a smile on my face, because my daughter is my favorite topic.
I remember a strange encounter at Noah’s Bagels when Natalie was about four years old. I noticed a man at a nearby table watching us enjoy our cream cheese covered indulgence. On his way out, he looked at me and said he thought it was nice to see a mother and daughter so obviously enjoying each other’s company.
“Oh, she’s my greatest joy, ” I remember answering.
He corrected me. “Well, your husband must be your greatest joy or you wouldn’t have her.”
If I ran into that man today, I’d tell him the same thing. Indeed, I love my husband, still. But as Alice Thomas Ellis so succinctly put it:
“There is no reciprocity. Men love women. Women love children. Children love hamsters*. Hamsters don’t love anyone; it is quite hopeless.”
Being a mother is, at once, both the most humbling and the most rewarding experience of my life. I will never consider it anything less than a miracle. It will always be the choice I am most proud of. It will always be the responsibility that drives me to be the best person that I can be.
It’s so easy to go on and on about what makes my daughter special, but I’ll just say that, despite all of her accomplishments, it is her kindness and generosity that I am most proud of. As I’ve watched her grow into an adult, I am so comforted to see her display a quiet, resolute strength and a deep understanding and acceptance of herself and those closest to her. She is a young woman who I both enjoy and admire.
I’d like to thank her for letting me “drop by” to enjoy a donut with her and her roommates. There is no place I’d rather be today than sitting across the table from my girl at SLODOCO dipping a maple bar into my latte.
Happy Mother’s Day, dear readers!
* When I repeat this quote, I change hamster to dog. Kids loves dogs and dogs DO love them back!