Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak at the Saint Dominic Academy Mother Daughter Brunch and to spend some time celebrating that bond between mothers and daughters with my own little girl at my side. I’d like to share today my remarks from that event…
Good morning and welcome to the Mother Daughter Brunch. This event, coupled with the Father Daughter Dance are, hands down my two favorite Saint Dominic Academy events each year. I love sharing in these events with you and your daughters and also important to me is the fact that I am able to have my daughter here today, and my dad at the dance each year. It really brings home the message that our SDA community truly is, at its heart, a family.
Most of you, in fact I am fairly certain, all of you know that we are putting on Hairspray! at SDA this year. What a fun show it is…so it’s kind of strange that every time I assist with rehearsals (yes, I wear many hats!) there is one song that has me in tears. Well, I guess that’s not too shocking, as most of your daughters know I am often moved to tears and/or overcome with emotion, but it’s a happy song, a funny song and so, why am I crying over it as I watch our girls- yours and mine perform it onstage?
The number is called “Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now!” and it’s just that age old mother-daughter argument, set to a catchy tune. The teenage daughters in the song are begging for their independence- they want to date, they want to spread their wings, they want to do what all teens want to do—if not cut the cord, then stretch it as far as they can, while still knowing that Mama will be there when they need to come home. And the moms in the song, well, they only sing three words over and over “Stop! Don’t! No!” The effect is humorous, to say the least; and our audience is meant to sympathize with these poor teens whose moms don’t let them have any fun. And of course, we’ve staged it that way, for optimum laughs. However, when you come and see the show, I am willing to bet that my eyes won’t be the only ones filling up and spilling over onto my cheeks…because it’s oh so hard to see your little girl grow up to be a “big girl now”.
And yet, moms, that’s whose sitting next to you today; your teenage daughter, no more ribbons and Mary Janes and stuffed toys they need to take everywhere. All of a sudden, you have a companion- a friend one moment and at other moments, you may very well feel as if you are Burr and Hamilton at their final showdown—that’s the daily in and out of life with a teenage daughter. ( From what I remember…I am still only entering into the tween phase with my own!) I know, as a mom myself, that when you look at the young lady with you today, you can still see a brand new baby, a toddler, a 5 year old heading off to kindergarten, and all the stages that brought you here, to this day, to sitting together as not only mother and daughter, but as friends sharing an event together.
I don’t know how your morning started before you got here- perhaps there was a little bit of “Stop! Don’t! No!” going on at your house as you both got dressed and ready to arrive. Goodness knows there is always a little bit of that going on at my house in the morning. That’s ok- that’s the way it is with moms and daughters…what matters is you’re here, you’re together, and you’re making a memory that you can look back on during those more “trying” moments in your relationship. It’s so hard, moms, to do as the daughters ask in the song and “ Give a push and watch me fly…”, but we know we’ve made raising our daughters to become radiant, successful, and empowered young women, beautiful inside and out, and so we can truly find the means to both carry them close to our hearts and let them fly out into the world.
And daughters, know this- it’s so hard to be a mom and to watch your baby girl grow up. It’s the hardest thing we have to do- and it starts happening the minute you come home with us. So, go easy on your moms; give in a little, every once in a while skip time with friends to hang with your mom. Don’t say your day was “fine”, sit down and TALK to your mom about it. And, every once in a while, give her a hug, for no reason other than she deserves many more hugs than you can ever possibly give her…she’s your mom- your friend for life…and even if you are all “big girls now”, you’ll always be her little girl.