Monday, August 20, 2007

In Which I Celebrate a Quarter of a Decade

Twenty five years ago, a mother was born. My darling daughter, Rei, was born at 7:47pm on this date in 1982. It is now going on 4pm so I was probably sweating and panting and in a tremendous amount of discomfort after ten days of intermittent labor. (Long story. Don't ask!)

By some miracle, this child survived my parenting. Not only that, but she grew up into this amazingly artistic creature who knows how to express herself visually. Through her artwork I have seen testimony to her emotions, her experiences. Similar to my proflic journaling and occasional writings, she finds ways to express her anger, frustration, joy, and bliss through her images.

And she has not only had to suffer having me for a mother but also being the solo sibling of twin brothers. I can only imagine what that must be like for her and yet she is close with her brothers and, when I die, I will do so knowing confidently that these three people love one another.

Almost as much as I love them. My life has been not only enriched by having them share it with me but it has forced me to be grounded and more careful with myself. In other words, through loving them and being loved by them I learned to love myself.

There is no greater gift.

But today is my daughter's day. With all her passion and self-efacing humor, she has managed to do the one thing I most hoped she would--she has become her own person. She has her own style. She dares to ask questions. And she knows how to say NO.

What's more, she knows what she wants and is committed to doing the work required to get her there. And it is hard work. The energy she puts into her webcomic is amazing. (See the link to the right of this post.) The quality of her work is superior to most of what can be found online. And this is not a mother boasting about her daughter. I tell people all the time about how well she draws. Eventually, I send them to her deviantart website and when they see her work they inevitably say, "Wow! She's good." I don't know why it surprises them. I don't think I come off as the type of person who sugarcoats things or who pretends life is all sweetness and light. In fact, my daughter and I have had our struggles, as is inevitable with mothers and daughters.
But none of that matters because, event when we are at our mutually most vicious, we love one another and are able to communicate that love to one another. So, in honor of today being the day that my daughter helped me give birth to my newest and best self . . . thank you Rei, (aka Shira) for coming to me. I can't wait to see what you do with yourself and your life in the next 25 years.

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