Traverse City Record-Eagle

Body & Soul

July 20, 2013

Perspectives: Daughters grow up to be friends

When our daughters were young girls, they seemed to be one another’s worst enemy.

On evenings when we thought we were on our way to a nice family dinner at a local restaurant, they would bicker about where we were going and who was going to sit on which seat in the car. Either Shirley or I would have to assign seating in the car and hope the arrival at the restaurant and the experience there would be much less dramatic.Once food was ordered and the process of eating had begun, a sense of normalcy seemed to return. That’s not to say there weren’t caustic words or occasional pinches on the way home.

By the time they reached the late teen years, our girls had formed a bond, usually around how to get what they most wanted from their parents, or to cover for one another if we had questions about where they had been and with whom. By the time they completed college they had become each other’s best friends; and as they had children of their own, they could offer one another incredible support and unconditional love. Our daughters, like so many sons and daughters, realized they had great strength, insight and love to give one another…and that the issues of early childhood could be laid to rest.

A few days ago, they arranged to spend time together while their children were in camp or away with their fathers. They came to visit us for dinner on one of those days and shared their laughter and experiences with us. Within a few moments we, too, were laughing … and realizing we were having an enjoyable dinner at home with enemies who had become best friends, children who had become parents to their own children — and who were now checking up on us.

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