Daughters

Daughters.

I didn’t raise any, but I now have two that I am so proud of, that I love so much. In law, they are a year apart, we having made one a legal part of our family a year and a week ago and the other just last night. In reality, they’ve both been around making two of our sons happy, sometimes confused, most of the time quite smitten and gradually more grown up for years.

It’s fun to watch my daughters together, they are playful and goofy, and they’ve taught me another level of humor I just didn’t know about with the boys. Can’t even describe it, but I realize that I like to have girls around. The two of them have enough in common to enjoy each other’s company, not just to connect about their respective men, but about other things, too. Yet they are different, as real siblings usually are, bringing diversity into our family.

T is musical and a performer, and I feel like I’m as proud as her own mama, when she sings and performs, like she did at her brother and sister-in-law’s wedding last night. I don’t know if she realizes it, but I couldn’t decide where to look. I could barely take my eyes off of her as she sang, but I wanted to see the wedding couple’s reaction as they stood by the Unity Candle (I think they liked it). I wanted to see my family’s reactions (I wanted to say, “See! What do you think? Isn’t she wonderful?), I wanted to hear what was going on in everyone else’s minds, and then as she was closing it, I looked over at her husband, my middle son, and I could see how proud he was, too. Just beautiful.

My newly legally documented daughter (as the preacher said, it’s not legal till it’s filed on Monday), is athletic (Both girls are competitive, just like the boys. Family game nights are awesome.). A is now married to the oldest son who is a coach, but she’s also done some volunteer coaching. Having a bit of basketball background (four years of college play), she’s coached some little league basketball. But because she’s another one not to sit still, she likes to play basketball, too, if life slows down just a little too much – or even if it doesn’t. It’s often said that coaches’ wives are widowed during their husbands’ sports season, but during this past baseball season, she just up and joined a community basketball league. She’s a good story-teller and shared a few tales of pretty competitive play – especially for a community league.

What really made me realize that I have daughters and that they are sisters was watching last night unfold. The bride, of course, worries that things aren’t going to go as they are planned (they/we all do), even with the assurance from that preacher guy that it most certainly won’t – and that it’s OK. Her new sister volunteered (as tribute?) to be runner/gopher/whatever they needed for the day, but I don’t think anyone could possibly realize what all that ended up including. Whether for love or OCD or both, T made sure bride’s and groom’s paths didn’t cross, that things (mostly) ran on schedule so that things could run on schedule, she delivered messages back and forth, fetched things for people, held things for people, told members of the party where they needed to be when, cleaned up areas when people were finished there, and just did everything in her power to make sure her new sister’s wedding went as smoothly as she had the power to make it go.

Even today, from a state away, T has A’s back as the new couple sit in an airport, having done so for most of the day as their flight has been twice delayed, and she’s offered to call the airlines to make demands, only slightly in jest. I honestly think she’d do it and won’t be surprised if I hear she has.

I see my daughters being good care-takers, of my sons in all ways, of me in various ways, of each other whenever needed. And I so love that.

A sat in our kitchen at the bar just over a week ago, as all three boys and their dad were kidding around, which turned into a competition about who had the more muscular thighs, settled with a measuring tape (I told you they were competitive). As she averted her eyes and shook her head, I told her that every once in a while I wonder about my life. I wonder, what if I could transport my 14-year-old self through time to this moment? What would that 14-year-old self (she was quiet, a shy book reader who hated going outdoors, sweating and risking things) think of the fact that these burly boys (all heavily bearded, deep-voiced and fairly attractive) would one day be hers? I imagine it would scare her just a bit. Would she worry about being up to the task of raising a houseful of boys? Would she be able to make them mind? What on Earth would it be like to be the mom of these … men? And now I find myself wondering what that 14-year-old self would think of watching her two daughters, the one straightening the wedding dress skirt for the other and adjusting where the others stood in relation to the bride so the photographer could capture the perfection of the moment?

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About teachjournalism
I am a high school teacher of journalism, technology and reading. I advise the school's newspaper and yearbook, both student-led publications. Documenting and sharing my experiences is a way of reflecting to improve my own work and and inviting commentary so that we might all benefit. I believe, as I tell my students each year, that we all learn from each other.

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