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I was always nervous about having a little girl. My mother and I are not the Gilmore girls. As much as we love each other, we are not best friends who talk every other minute. We have always been very different women.

As a teenager, I loved to shop, experiment with make-up and do aerobics. My mother loved to meditate, read and ride horses. I like to follow style trends, television and pop culture. My mother only watches PBS and considers herself a Buddhist. She spent this past weekend listening to the Dali Lama. As you probably know, I’m more apt to listen to Justin Timberlake. I am a stickler for neatness and details. My mother is far stronger at seeing the big picture.

I respect and admire my mother enormously. I can easily say that I have never known a kinder, more sensitive and more compassionate individual. But we are, at our core, very different souls. It has been challenging at times to find a place in the middle to connect. It can be sad but it’s true. So I was worried about having a daughter and finding a way to connect with her. So, of course, I ended up with two. And I’m glad I did. Just this past week, I had an experience with my 3 year-old Dylan that helped ease my anxiety enormously.

My mother stopped by my apartment after the Dali Lama. I asked her to watch the girls so I could run out and get a much needed pedicure. Chipped toenails make me crazy (see, it’s always the details for me). But Dylan wanted to come. I’m so glad I said “yes.” She, in her pink sweater and tutu, sat in my lap during the pedicure and we read People magazine. She is shocked about Britany’s behavior. No, we actually read “Curious George” and “Pinkalicious.” After the pedicure, Dylan picked out a polishdylan-close-up-of-nails.jpg and they painted her nails too. The experience just felt so girly, so sweet and so lovely. I thought, “I can definitely do this girl thing.”

My mother and I will keep on working to find a place in the middle to connect. It’s not always easy but it is always worth the effort when we find it. On my mother’s answering machine at home, her outgoing message ends with, “smile, breathe and don’t forget you’re loved.” I can guarantee you this warm (yet a bit unusual) sentiment will never be on my voice mail message. It’s just not my thing. But I take the words seriously. And in a different way, in a different style, I will send the same message to my girls. So to my mother Susan, thank you for your words and thank you for meeting me in the middle.


7 Responses to somewhere in the middle

  • Jordana Bales says:

    You brought tears to my eyes! So sweet. I look forward to the days I can go with Ava to get a manicure – she already loves sparkles (like her Mommy!).

  • Sam says:

    tears from me too. my mother and i are also very different people. i was always wishing that my hippie mom would just please be like the other june cleaver moms! it was hard to be the wierd kid with the stevie nicks mom, neither of us fitting in. i tried to rebel. i would wear a bathing suit at the nude beach. but in the end there was no fighting it. neither of us are particularly “normal”. i am now so grateful for her alternative views and for teaching me important things like love everyone and we are all equal. i now really appreciate the uniqueness in people and in myself and my mother. and although we ARE very different people and she still embarrasses me OFTEN, i would rather that than some cookie cutter mom. i hope my son feels the same way about me one day, yikes!

  • Alex says:

    I just wanted to mention that, for the first time ever, Dylan looks like her mom in this photo. She has always been the spitting image of Rick but in this photo she's 100% Kelcey…all the way down to her pink fingertips. No worries, Kelce, I think this little girl is a chip off the mama block.

  • Erin says:

    I know this posting is a day or so old- I am little behind on my reading but I just had to chime in with everyone else that this was a beautiful little tribute to you mom…and I never had a doubt you would be an extraordinary baby girl mama :-}

  • Kerry says:

    i'm crying, kelce! beautifully written. your mom's love and kindness lives deep within you and it shows in so much that you do.

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kelcey kintner