I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Drive from School.

The street lights drew shadows on her face as she drove the car. Our two hour drive from her college was done mostly in silence with sporadic interruptions prompted by my questions about her classes. We drove for a while without a word spoken. Suddenly she broke the silence:

 “I don’t want my kids to be like most kids I went to school with. When I have them I want them to be different. But I don’t know how to do that”.

Caught off guard and in hesitation I said “Not sure I follow you”.
“Well, I think girls date way too early and make life lasting mistakes”
“I didn’t.”  She continued.
“You chose not to”, I said reassuring her of her choices.
“I didn’t because of the way that I was raised” She paused.
She took her eyes off the road for a brief second to look at me and added with a soft smile:
“You were good parents”.
Always a conscious driver, her eyes went back to the road and her hands remained on the steering wheel.
I have had those doubts. Once a moment is lost, it’s lost forever and I feared I had wasted many chances to make a difference. There were times when I lost my patience. When life rushes and worries got in the way and I failed to give her the attention, the patience I wanted to give her. 

I breathed in those words deeply and closed my eyes. In that sentence were all the Hallmark cards I didn’t get, the phone calls she didn’t make, the messages she didn’t return. Right there, in that instance, my 21 year old daughter validated my nights waiting for her fever to break as a child, and my days driving her around in her teens.  With those brief words she dissipated the inevitably doubts of having failed as a mother. 
She continued her monologue about the future.  I smiled and watched again the silhouette of her face in the shadows of the night. Nothing could ever take that moment away from me. My daughter had given me an eternal mother’s gift; the validation that I had made a difference.