Friday, August 08, 2008

Mother and Daughters: Spirits and Souls

My co-worker Rebekah asked me an interesting question the other day, and it got me thinking.

"Which of your daughters is most like you?" she asked as we stood in line for our favorite fish tacos at Taco del Mar, talking about our kids -- her baby and almost-kindergartener, and my... my... (just say it, Carol!) adult kids.

It was such a simple question, but I couldn't answer it.

Which of my daughters is most like me?

The knee-jerk response would have been Elisabeth because she and I have similar interactions with the world. We're both outgoing, striking up conversations with strangers without hesitation. We both have a bit of a propensity toward the dramatic -- simply for the sake of the drama (and others' reaction to it). We're both socially adventurous and even a tad gregarious, ready to jump in to just about any situation with spontaneity and optimism. And if you know us even a little bit, we're as easily read as an open book.

Elisabeth and I have similar spirits.

But Kat and I are more alike than most people realize. Although not downright shy, Kat is the most private and the quietest of our children. She's more restrained in social situations and tends to test the waters before diving in. She knows herself extremely well and doesn't hesitate to quietly and confidently opt out of social situations in favor of time alone with her own singular pursuits, such as photography.

Sometimes I feel such a kinship with Kat that it scares me. Without saying a word to each other, I often know exactly how she's feeling deep inside. When she comes home from a busy day and heads right for her nightly bath, I know that she's seeking peace and solitude and a place to privately decompress, because I do the same. When she chooses to watch a good movie instead of join the raucous activities of a large impromptu family get-together, I know -- on a gut level -- the need for calm that beckons her. When she chooses to privately work through emotions rather than announce them to the world, I know where that comes from, too.

Kat and I have similar souls.

My daughters share some similarities, yet they are different as night and day. And in their personalities and their ways of dealing with other people in the world, I see the yin and yang within myself, the embodiment of my own spirit and soul.

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1 comment:

Grace said...

What I've always been struck by, Carol, is how beautiful you and your daughters are - inside and out! They each inherited your beauty, your smile and your spirit. Do they know how lucky they are to have you for their mother?!

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