I am blessed to be the mother of a son and two daughters.
From the beginning, my son has always been the perfect amalgamation of his own thing. Vintage Sam, he is a hand-crafted brand of his own being in the world. And while once in a while, my husband and I see glimpses of ourselves in him, for the most part, he is custom awesomeness on its' own.
My daughters are another story.
From the time my oldest daughter, Kate came out of the womb, she was instantly a carbon copy of me, except infinitely kinder and much sweeter. We look like each other, share the same sugary voice, over-enunciate our vocabulary and value language as though it's the hottest commodity on the face of the earth.
From the time that Kate was three-years old, she was reading multi-syllabic words and calling out her preschool teachers for skipping sentences in the stories at circle time. Fiercely independent, our middle child has never needed anyone to entertain her. She is the epitome of creativity and can often be found re-purposing twine, cardboard, leaves and safety pins into a masterpiece. A fantastic piano player, beautiful ballerina and prolific writer, she spends most of her life dreaming smack dab in the present.
At the tender age of five, my younger daughter, Claire is the feistiest, most self assured, would-be pole dancer that you've ever had the privilege to meet. On the day of her birth, ten minutes before my last push, I started crying profusely and when my OB screamed, "Look at me! What's wrong?!" I just retorted, "I don't know, I'm scared. Something's coming." And sure as fuck, she was hell-bent to be in the world. When she emerged with absolutely no scream, my OB un-lassoed the umbilical cord from her neck four times and then whisked her away to get an APGAR score. She was off-the-charts healthy. A fighter, hard core dancer, consummate singer and lover of all things sparkly and forbidden...she is a force to be reckoned with. Unafraid or encumbered by the fear that often holds me back, Claire's motto is that life is for the living and that much like Dylan, you should get busy doing that or get busy dying.
Which is why it is crazy to me that the past few weeks, Claire has been stuffing anything and everything up her shirt, signifying that she wants to be a mother. After shoving three beanie boos up her dress, she asked, "How old do I have to be to be a mommy?" I told her that she had to go to college, graduate school, study abroad and then maybe at the age of 30, we could talk about it...her hopes seemed undeterred. "Well, I'm gonna have 29 babies and I don't need a husband."
"More power to you, " proclaimed Kate from the kitchen, "I'm going to art school in Paris." And in both moments, I was over-the-moon elated for both of them.
Little versions of me wrapped up in both of them...the girl who yearns to live in a high rise contributing to her industry while also breastfeeding a babe and reading Dr. Seuss at night...except I could never figure out how to do it. Such a beautiful, hard thing to make work in the world.
I suppose at the end of the day, all you want is for your kids to be happy...but man, I hope they get to experience professional adventure and personal peace and that Claire comes to her senses about the 29 babies deal...or I may have to flee the country as the grandmother.