These are my Mom Creds: I have three daughters, ages 19, 22 and 27. They are all almost (but not completely) out of the house.
I have invested 20 years in homeschooling them, and 13 years in breastfeeding them, 2.5 years in tandem. I’ve potty trained them, I’ve taught them how to read (and to love movies), and how to use a voting machine. I’m DONE!!
I love them all, and they all need to DIE!
How’s that for ambivalence?
Each of my daughters has three names. One name (of one daughter) is Ananda. I took it from a Madeline L’Engle book I read while I was pregnant. Charles Wallace tells Meg, “It means that joy in existence without which the universe would fall apart and collapse”. Meg replies that it’s a pretty heavy name for a dog to carry.
But that is the kind of love I have for her, and the kind of mom-pain I have for her, also.
DH and I fought over that name harder than almost anything else in our 32 years of marriage. I finally trumped him by saying, “I’m carrying this child, so I get to name her”. (In utero, her name was Mirth, after Jonathan Winters’ character on Mork & Mindy). Cruel irony then that she turns out to be the most like him. They “get” and bug each other more than they do anyone else.
Sarah is one of the names one of the other girls wears. It means Princess. Need I say more? Unfortunately, this is the one who is most like me, so we scream at each other a lot, and share the mind-link thing.
During Desert Storm she saw King Faoud on TV. She has always called my father ‘Fahd’, so – she began running thru the house screaming, “My Fahdy’s on TV! It’s true – I AM a princess!” She is the one most often accused of being my favorite. Not so.
Jean means Gift of God and is one third of a third child’s name. She has a sunny disposition (“most people seem to like it”) and tries to model everything I do, as a wife and mother. She is loyal thru thin and thin (no typo, just snarky) and wears her heart on her sleeve. As a child, she would say to me, “I really love you, Mommy”. I always replied, “I fake love you, Jeani”.
Genetically, she is a true crossbreed of DH and me. Which is why we both spend so much time p*ssed at her and her shenanigans. And worry ourselves sick about how people take advantage of her. She is generous to a fault and wears her heart on her sleeve.
When they were little, DH’s mom would tell the girls that I loved them all the same. I told them, “No. That’s not true. I have Ananda-love for Ananda, Sarah-love for Sarah and Jeani-love for Jeani”.
Because the love for each one, and the heartbreaking pain of each one is and always will be unique. Singular. Not like a xerox-of-a-xerox-of-a-xerox.
No love is ever repeated. Or replaced.
Ask any mom.