Saturday, February 18, 2012


I was lucky enough to give birth to three daughters. Whereas some families have children who bear a physical resemblance to each other, and some have children who have the same temperament (making them kind of like peas in a pod), the three girls that I have are as different as finding in that pod -- a string bean, a lima bean and a black-eyed pea – all members of the bean family but oh so different.

I should not have been surprised; my sis and I were not at all alike either. What I was, she wasn’t, and vice versa. Our commonality was parents and reading. That’s about it. I’m not really going to compare my daughters here, but begging the pardon of my middle daughter, I’m going to share with you my surprise at the way her life has gone.

Bryn was the smallest of my children, built very daintily if there is such a word. She also had blond curly hair and a fantastic temperament. She always went along with whatever was called for. She had no tantrums, made no demands on anybody; she smiled whenever she had to wait and charmed everyone she met. Her big brother and sister catered to her, causing her to call on their kindness to bring her what she needed. Because of this she didn’t need to walk early to get things herself; she just sat and smiled until she was 16 months old, when she upped herself and took off. She was baby #3 and I truly appreciated this sweet child.

Growing up she was the one who liked dolls of any kind, loved pink and purple in her clothing, in her hair ribbons, on her bedspread and on her wallpaper. She loved her cat Babby, her pajama holder “Peli” and her cedar chest stuffed with things like Beatle Bobble-heads and all kinds of saveable things.

She married, had two sons, became the forerunner of today’s “soccer mom,” and ran a sno-cone booth singlehandedly for all those years the boys were in AYSO. This and holding down a full-time job. She never met a person who was a stranger and for the most part kept all of them as friends through her whole life. She navigated through a divorce, several years of single life, and then…

...she remarried and went to Alaska when a job opening happened up there. This is when Bryn became someone else. I need to preface the rest of this by saying that I genetically haven’t an athletic or sporting gene in my body. I didn’t think Bryn did either, so this is the biggest surprise.

I started getting pictures of moose standing in the snow in her front yard, along with tales of trying to find a place to let her doggies do their business without meeting a bear nose to nose. I got e-mails from her describing how her job was to hit the salmon over the head to dispatch them after they had been caught. I read all these things with interest, but honestly, I could hardly visualize my dainty little daughter killing anything, much less in such a gruesome way. I, who can hardly bear to kill a spider, breeding a daughter like this? How did it happen?

Well, in Alaska it does. I suppose Bryn put aside her early sensibilities and simply went with what Alaska had to offer. However, who ever thought MY sweet daughter would morph into someone who sends her mother a picture like this:

I have never been to Alaska and in spite of Bryn being up there, probably won’t. My idea of fun is being in San Francisco or even Los Angeles. I love big cities. At one time I thought living in a rural area would bring contentment but have since learned that even as slightly rural as Mira Loma/Jurupa Valley is, I’ve just not the temperament for it. So the majesty of outdoors Alaska does not call to me, although my daughter, of course, does. But I prefer that to be on my turf, not hers, and age has its privileges!

When I received this picture from her, I wrote back and said, “Tell me this isn’t you!” But alas, it was. I think it is a great pix, taken by her husband, obviously, and it shows Bryn in the full glory of her new life. However, I can’t help but laugh at it. Where is that dainty daughter I once had?

Ah, she’s out having fun in the cold Alaska sunshine. I think she’s buried somewhere down inside that bundle of coats and jackets. And if I were to guess, if you could peel a few layers of her wrap off she would no longer be wearing pink or purple, either.

Can we change as we mature? You bet!

No comments: