It’s Time for a New Trend

Today is October 7, the day my grandmother was born.  She would have been 97 if she were still alive. The interesting thing about my grandma’s birthday is that it occurs on the 7th as does mine and my mother’s, three months consecutively.  Mine is August 7th, my mom’s September 7th, and my grandma’s October 7th.  So when I found out that my first daughter’s due date was in July, we all wondered if she would continue the trend.

She didn’t.  She arrived three weeks early on the 4th of July.  We were surprised by her early arrival, but thrilled she was healthy.  As I looked at her, I thought about how she would be the beginning of something new in our family.

You see, for three generations there was a pattern emerging between mother and daughter; one of hurt and distance.

My grandmother, like the rest of us, had hurts and wounds she carried through her adult life.  She didn’t speak openly about them.  Part of that was probably the generation she came from and part because of who she was as a person.  But they came out in other ways, they always do.

She had four children; my mom and then a few years later, three boys in fairly rapid succession. From what I understand, my grandmother probably suffered from postpartum depression, among other things.  This left my mom feeling unwanted and distant from her mom.  In the latter years of my grandma’s life, my mom wanted to close that distance.  She tried talking to her, but my grandma just couldn’t bring herself to reveal those parts of her heart that she had hidden for so long.  I know this hurt my mom.

My mom wanted things to be different with me and my siblings.  Unfortunately, she too had hurts and wounds that made that difficult.  Compounded by several difficult circumstances and abusive partners, she protected her heart so fiercely that there was a constant barrier to getting close.  I know my mom loved me and I loved her, but try as we might, there was a familiar distance in our relationship as well.

000038457e9e14f79cbea85d29e17a09So here I was, looking at my own daughter, fearing that history would repeat itself again.  I knew it didn’t have to be that way; I hoped it could be different.  She and I would start a new mother/daughter trend.  One that would be full of love, grace, mercy, vulnerability, and authenticity.

Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who allowed me the time and space to deal with my own hurts so I wouldn’t lay them on our children.  And he’s been a wonderful partner in parenting.  God was also very gracious to bring wonderful women into my life whom I could learn from and go to when I was unsure.

I’m thankful for my grandma and my mom.  They each showed love in their own unique ways and they loved each other and me the best way they knew how.  But I’m glad there’s a new trend in our family. We don’t always get it right.  I wish there were things I would have done differently.  At the end of the day, though, we have a closeness that I had always hoped was possible.  My prayer is that my children continue the trend and do it even better…

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