A Mother’s Legacy
April 5, 2023
by Dr. Plastic Picker
We had finished dinner last night. Mr. Plastic Picker and I had one of those fleeting middle-aged moments when the best thing, is having enough time between work and dinner to go to Costco together. It’s probably the most fun I ever have, going to Costco with my college-boyfriend now husband and deciding what to buy for our family with the money we have earned. This is why we had an easy dinner, because we bought the premade Costco fajita chicken corn taco set. Have you dear readers purchased that one too? It’s a fun dinner because who doesn’t love fajita chicken tacos. Certainly our family does.
After the said fajita chicken taco dinner was consumed, it was getting dark already but I wanted to go for a walk. My body needed to move because I had been with friends. When I am with friends, and I’m better at making friends and being a friend now, I try to listen more. But absorbing the stories of other families is hard for me. The stories are different from my own. The decisions are different than the ones I made. And I don’t have the clinical detachment as a clinician, because their decisions affect my own family. So I listened to my friends and their family stories, but I had this nervous energy after absorbing some of those stories and and I needed to walk.
Our daughter walked with me, and we walked and talked and rounded multiple quiet tree-lined blocks. We brought a flash-light and had fun chatting about our stories, other stories and just being together. We talked about family and she wants to be like me, have children at a reasonable age. She’s like me, a planner and has her years of college, post-graduate study, law school and life all planned out. Some of the plans are the innocent and entirely appropriate aspirations of a smart and articulate 14 year old, win international prizes and going to international type galas with Estee Lauder type endorsements. But some of the plans are those that I realize are important to her, because I am her mother. Her future children, and how she’ll mother and who will mother with her.
A lot of people worry about their legacy, and honestly I’ve never been one of those. For mothers who have daughters, our legacy to the world is our own daughters and the way they will mother. I realized I am incredibly lucky in that my mother is alive and healthy, and mothered me well past the time her own mother was taken from her due to war. I realized I am lucky that I have my mother-in-law, who has mothered me and loved me across our cultural barriers. Some of my love for Kdramas is honestly that I came to love them first (my husband’s family) and then the Kdramas came as a caricature of a real loving family and culture.
I do get to take some credit for this beautiful creature. She is my legacy because I poured all my love into this little person who was born too early and who was whisked away to the NICU before I could really get to know her. But I know her so well now because we walk and we talk. The boy who captures your heart will for sure be one lucky boy, who will get to bask in the love of you continuing your legacy little one. And I hope for you a daughter also, so you will realize how much love you gave me every time we walked and talked.