Wednesday, January 30, 2008

From Generation to Generation

Most of us can easily see the imprint of our mothers in our day-to-day lives. It’s inescapable that we will carry on many of their traits, even some of the ones we scorned as children. But just recently I’m coming to see myself in my daughter and getting a real kick out of getting to know her as an adult.

She surprised us with a visit this week, a free trip on Alaska Air earned by being bumped. She is in between jobs, having left the sinking ship of a start-up venture to work at UCSF. She will be doing the psychological interviews and follow-up in a study on lupus, at least initially. The job sounds like a much better fit with her bio-psych background.

My daughter has become a GREAT cook. I found it interesting that instead of a fashion magazine she had bought the latest issue of Gourmet in the airport. She swears by organic ingredients and loves to experiment with new things. She was quickly on board with homemade yogurt after sampling my latest batch. We cooked together last night. I made a garlicky tortellini tomato soup. She made Australian baramundi with lemon and shallots. My husband cleaned up.

Her tastes have broadened to include mushrooms, ginger, spinach, beans, and all sorts of things she would have turned up her nose at as a younger child. She was my finicky eater. She’s still not enamored with broccoli, asparagus, or eggplant, but I’ll bet in a couple of years they will be there too.

She’s such a smart shopper. We hit Loehmann’s together yesterday. She told me the one skirt I was about to buy from the “Backroom” at $100 was simply not worth the money. She bought a handful of tops and a sweater at a great discount to wear to the new job. Not much in SF requires suits and heels fortunately.

After our shopping expedition, she suggested we stop at G Street Fabrics to buy silk to make flax-lavender filled eyebags. Just the kind of thing I love to do, especially with someone else. I'm sure her friend back in SF will love using the handmade eyebag when she does yoga.

She is in a long-distance relationship with a boy who just started medical school in Grenada. They have decided not to see other people because that would simply diminish their relationship. She told me she could never understand polygamy. This boy, whom we have not yet met, shares her love of the environment and a natural lifestyle. They sound like a perfect couple, just separated by 3,000 miles unfortunately. But they are online multiple times each day.

She is so many things that I am not: an outstanding athlete, a talented artist, a person with dainty feet! But the imprint is definitely there. It’s so much fun to see your legacy right before your very eyes. I loved her as a little girl, but I love her even more as an adult!

8 Comments:

Blogger Kristin said...

What a lovely tribute to her daughter and a wonderful visit.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

This was a great post! Very heart-warming. It was fun to get a glimpse of your daughter through your eyes.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin, Pauline -- What I'm starting to see is that each generation simply adds onto what they inherited through birth. The result is often something much better. I'll bet each of you can name at least 5 ways you are so much like your mother, and in Pauline's case your daughter!

I'm so happy my daughter decided to use her free trip to come home!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

I am a great believer in cellular memory, meaning that a small part of me was also part of my ancestors. Sometimes I think the love I have for quilting and china comes from my great grandmother, my cooking from my great-great grandmother... and who knows what else from others down the line. It doesn't help to fight something that is cellular, it is a part of you.

I remember when I really turned the corner from rebellious daughter to understanding that parents really did know quite a bit and they just wanted to share their knowledge to help me avoid pitfalls....

of course this doesn't help when my mother tries to micromanage my cooking!

2:38 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kelly -- What an interesting legacy you have. It's definitely a milestone to turn that corner where you begin to learn from your children. It happened a while back for me and I just keep on learning from both of them.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

That is just so neat and must be very gratifying to see. No surprise she's a good cook!
I often wonder what our kids would have looked like or been like. I imagine it would be fascinating watching them grow and develop and I have surely missed out on what is an amazing part of life for most people.
I hope her long distance romance works out but I know these are tough. I also hope she gets situated with the job thing and that your son does as well.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Ruth D~ said...

A true mother's day tale. A reverse tale, and a beautiful one.

10:14 PM  

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