Anna Quindlen’s piece this week is a must-read for any parent. The concluding paragraph:
Don’t get me wrong: she’s no saint. But she is strong and smart and funny, everything I’ve ever treasured. Oh, if I could grow up to be Maria, to be the kind of person who could jump off that cliff without thinking twice or looking down. For decades my role model was my mother. Now it’s my daughter. I’m just the woman who was lucky enough to come between the two.
It’s interesting that my wife and I read this and had very different reactions; I read it as a parent, she read it as a daughter and mother (but of two boys, alas, no daughters). Regardless of our context, we both recognized the gift it is to have children, and to witness them grow up to be their own people.
As I listen to my four year-old get this close to reading, I marvel at how quickly he’s learning (and how hard he works at it). Each smile (whether it’s joy or mischief, it doesn’t matter) that my two year old shares, I am amazed at the personality he’s already developed. I’m not yet at the point where Quindlen is, whose daughter is 16 and fast approaching adulthood. But I count my blessings that I get to spend so much time with these two kids, and can’t wait for what’s ahead.
See also Dennis Kennedy’s guest blog entry by his daughter for similar thoughts.