The Found Essay: Letter from a Mother to a Daughter*
“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago.” Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep. When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl? When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way. Remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair, and dealing with life’s issues every day. The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient, or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad—just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you, my darling daughter.”
This is my second Mother’s Day as a mom. It’s been an interesting journey finding myself on this side of the greeting card. In the last year I’ve watched my little dude Ari learn to walk, talk—and master the iPad to an astonishing degree! In some ways his cute little fingers know their way around that thing better than me. And definitely better than my mother.
A few weeks ago my mom was visiting from Philadelphia. She was shocked to see how adept her now twenty-month-old grandson was on that iPad—finding his favorite dinosaur videos, counting along with his most beloved counting bears app! I invited my mom to join in on the iPad fun. She wound up getting flummoxed. I wound up getting frustrated.
“Don’t worry,” Howard told her. “Soon Ari’s going to be teaching all of us how to use all kinds of technology.” We all laughed because we knew this joke wasn’t merely a joke.
Shortly thereafter I found this poignant post called “Letter from a Mother To Daughter” on a beautiful Facebook page called Spring In the Air. As I read the essay, I found myself getting teary eyed. It resonated on many levels—both as a newbie mom—and as an oldbie daughter. I needed to share.
Karen Salmansohn is a bestselling author and award-winning designer with over one million books sold. She’s been on the Today Show, The View, Fox TV, CNN, etc Her books—which offer a range of happiness and resiliency psychology tools—have been recommended on Oprah.com—including her best selling THE BOUNCE BACK BOOK and PRINCE HARMING SYNDROME which you can read more about at her site: www.notsalmon.com. Check out her newest book INSTANT HAPPY.
*Essay and accompanying photo courtesy Spring In The Air, a company known for growing/shipping the most amazing, longest lasting roses available in the US, and voted the highest rated roses by Amazon customers. (Originally posted Mother’s Day 2012)