Interview with Daisy: “She commanded a lot of respect in an effortless way.”

I never tire of hearing grown women talk about how much they enjoy their mothers.   Even though Daisy was ultimately disappointed by her father, her relationship with her mother has righted a multitude of wrongs.

What’s your age? 

29

Are both of your parents living?

Yes

What’s their marital status?

Divorced and remarried

How many siblings do you have?

One sister and one step brother

How often do you see your parents?

My mom lives in San Diego, so not as much as I’d like—every few months.  She’s the only one I still consider a parent.  I haven’t seen my dad since I was 10 and I don’t care for my stepmother, so I never see them. They divorced when I was around three. My stepdad I see when I see my mom.  He is a different stepdad than the one who raised me.  That stepdad died.

What are some of the ways you spend time together? 

We went to the wedding of a childhood friend in Florida most recently, we go out to dinner, we sit at home and just talk.  We do those things no matter where we are.  Going to dinner, staying in, having a glass of wine and chatting. Sometimes my stepdad tags along, sometimes he lets me, my mom, and my sister have some girl time.

On a scale of one to ten, how much do you enjoy their company?

Mom, 9

Birth Dad, 0

What are some of the positive aspects of your relationship with them?

With Mom, it’s very open and trusting. I can tell her anything, and as I have become an adult, I think she feels that openness, too.  She’s fun, positive, and we are similar in a lot of ways.  She understands me and we like to do similar things.

I can’t see any positive aspect about my dad except that he isn’t in my life.  I think I would be a worse person if he were.  I think my mom and the rest of my family did a better job than he could have.

What are some of the negative aspects of your relationship with her?

Sometimes, not that often, as I became  an adult, she began to think of me more as a friend.  That can become burdensome.  She’s experiencing a little empty nest syndrome and I can’t be responsible for her happiness.

Which is weightier, the positive or negative?

Positive

What are some of the aspects that contributed to a healthy relationship as adults?

Growing up, she set a really good example as far as work ethic, family, how you treat people.  She made us compassionate, loving people.  We were her top, number-one priority.  She worked three jobs so we could have the things we needed.  She commanded a lot of respect in an effortless way.  Now, we’ve maintained that.  It’s a constant evolution, but there is a constant respect.

What do you appreciate most about her parenting?

Her work ethic has really influenced me.  I didn’t even realize it until I was an adult.  Her openness, we always felt that we could come to her, even if it was something we might get in trouble for.  We always had an honest relationship. She makes you want to be around her.

What do you wish she had done differently?

I haven’t thought much about that.  I think she did the best she could and I can’t say that I wish things had been different.

How well do you relate to your siblings?

Very well.  My sister and I are 18 months apart, and she’s my best friend after my mom.  I feel very protective over her, but we really are best friends.

Do you think she shares your same reflections on your parents?

Yes, I think she had a little more trouble relating to my mom growing up.  Their personalities are a little more different.  She probably took the divorce a little harder.  She wanted to have a relationship with our father longer.

Can you share a defining moment with her?

I was in a long-term relationship for six years.  We were high school sweethearts and stayed together through college.  I was on the pill, but one night a condom randomly broke, so I grabbed a towel, wrapped it around myself and ran downstairs, banging on my mom’s door freaking out and saying “What am I going to do?”  My mom just said calmly, “Well, what’s ever meant to be will be.  Maybe I’m meant to have a grandchild.”  Most people would say that’s crossing a lot of boundaries with your mom, but it sums up how there is a lot of closeness between us.

Has anything happened in recent history with them to change how you felt about them as a child?

I’d say it’s been pretty consistent, although there is a time when you realize that your mom is just a human being.  She is still a super-hero because she is my mom, but I know now she’s a flawed person just like anyone else.

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