“A son is a son until he takes a wife, a daughter’s a daughter the rest of her life.” – Old Saying – Anonymous
I am old enough to watch what I say, or in this case, what I write. When I started blogging again, I promised without fail to blog twice a week. I really should have put some conditions on that promise. As I didn’t, you would have been justified in wondering where I have been the last ten days. And also being annoyed. Once again, I have broken the first rule of blogging: Show up when you say you will. I am offering this explanation on a day I normally would NOT be posting a blog in an effort to make it up to you.
My birthday is June 4th. My husband insisted he wanted to have a party for me. We don’t usually go in for birthday parties for adults and I was less than enthusiastic but he persisted. The day before the planned gala there was a lot of “toing” and “froing” that should have alerted me to the fact that something unusual was about to happen. In my defense, the first weekend in June was hotter than the hinges of hell here in New Hampshire. Running around getting ready in my non-air conditioned house, my brain was hovering on the edge of damage from the heat, so I missed most of the signs.
Mid-afternoon the day before the party, my husband disappeared on a mission to find me the perfect gift. He returned around 7:30 to a less than enthusiastic welcome. I had evacuated to the bliss of a neighbor’s central air. Five minutes after my husband’s arrival, the doorbell rang again. I looked up to see my daughter striding down the hall toward me. It may sound strange but I had a flashback to the first time I saw her take a step. She was ten months old, dressed in a pale yellow smocked Polly Flinders dress with a white collar embroidered with rosebuds. One minute she was sitting on the grass and the next she was walking determinedly across the lawn without a backward glance.
Her name begins with the letter A. I have blogged before about how I use the first letter of a character’s name to come up with the attributes that define the person I am creating. My daughter is: assured, awesome, amazing, audacious, and assertive. A true Leo, she has the heart of a lion.
Four years ago, she left New Hampshire to build a new life with her husband in Dublin, Ireland. We live in a global world. I know I am not the only mother whose child lives far away. I am also reminded of my great-grandmother who more than a hundred years ago sent four of her children from Ireland to Boston never to see them again. Today with Skype, Facebook, and big silver Aer Lingus planes with names like Siobhan painted on their noses, mothers can keep their children much closer.
I wanted a daughter. As all mothers know, I would have loved and cherished a son but the truth is that summer that I waited for her birth, long enough ago that there was no option of knowing if the baby I carried was a boy or a girl, I wanted a daughter.
Her visit was a whirlwind of parties, shopping, and talking late into the night or in one case early into the morning. Blogging and writing were far from my mind. We had a wonderful visit and my husband did in fact bring me back the perfect gift for my birthday.
She has gone back home to Ireland and I miss her. I have turned once again to my other babies: Brid, Franny, Sofia, and Lilah for distraction.
This visit reminded me of what I have known since the day she was born. I am so lucky to have a daughter.