Just as a woman is watching her face shrivel up like the faces in those paintings in the haunted house at Disneyland, a cruel irony of life surfaces. She sees her daughter burst into full bloom in front of her; probably as beautiful as she’ll ever be.
It’s like roses on a rosebush. The mom is the one that’s left with just a knob and some straw-like hairs poking out, next to the fully bloomed, lush rose wafting her fragrance across the yard with a toss of her head.
A mother can do one of two things; she can decide to be jealous and compete, which doesn’t usually end well — in life, or made for TV movies. Or she can look at her daughter adoringly and be thrilled for her.
I just got done looking at photos of my daughter in full bloom, in Mexico on vacation, having an absolute ball, and am thrilled. I’m thrilled because I learned it from my mom. It didn’t come naturally. What comes naturally is to look longingly and wish you were hot again. But my mom taught me to be bigger than that.
My daughter got the great, long, legs I always wanted and perfect hair that looks cute curly or straight. Her teeth are perfect and she eats like a horse and never gains an ounce. (Ok, I might be the teensiest bit jealous of that.) If I’m 1.0, she’s 2.0 and if she has a daughter, maybe she’ll be 3.0.
Do I look at those photos and think, Damn I wish I was 18 and beautiful again? Of course, but I did it once and now it’s her turn. I just hope she realizes how lucky she is to be 18, cute and metabolizing well, sometime before she’s 58 years old.
I also silently thank my mom, who never competed. She always looked at me lovingly, even when she wanted to strangle me because I was imitating her or hadn’t done what she wanted.
And every so often when she gazed at me, I’d catch a hint of wistfulness in her look that said, I used to be beautiful too when I was young. She was, and had the beauty prizes to prove it. But, she always shrugged it off and was my best cheerleader. I hope I’m that for my daughter.
Yep, it may be time to pass down the mascara wand.