Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A thank-you to my daughter

I have four children. When they were teen-agers, one would accuse me of liking the other better, and I would explain as gently as possible that my relationship with each was different. You love them all with all your heart, but you react differently to each child, according to how they react and interact with you. The same is true today now that three of them are in their forties—I treasure my relationship to each, but one is never the same as the other.

Jordan is my youngest and the only one who lives in Fort Worth, and we do have a different relationship. We see each other or talk almost daily. Her seven-year-old son Jacob has been known to tell someone, “Well, I do sort of live at Juju’s house.” No way around it: we are very close.

I planned to blog about Jordan before she was in a serious accident yesterday but that only made me realize even more how much she is a part of my daily life, whether she’s appearing for an unexpected happy hour or chastising me for not being careful enough “for a woman of your age.” (That covers everything from falling to contracting West Nile Virus.) I am glad to report that Jordan is okay today, very stiff and sore, going to the doctor tomorrow, which is what the ER advised her to do. She’ll be okay, but she has a few rough days to get over.

Jordan and I rely on each other, and it’s a mutually supportive relationship. She makes herself available when I really need help, and sometimes she takes on chores at my house that I don’t realize need doing—she is planning now to rearrange my linen cupboard, such as it is, so the crockpot isn’t on the highest shelf. Her brother suggested it was a bad choice to stand on a stool and get it down. (There’s that woman of my age stuff again!)

Jordan and her friends include me in a lot of their parties and welcome me heartily. I’ve known many of them for years and years, and it is a good feeling to be the grand dame amongst a group of young people. I am, however, always the first to leave.

If I need something done Jordan always gets it done; sometimes she fusses at first, but she does it. And when I’m really in trouble, like the day I had a TIA, Jordan is my rock—she took charge, took me to the ER, etc. And called all her siblings and had me talk to them when I was apparently babbling nonsense.

I am particularly grateful to her now because she worked for weeks planning my birthday party, arranging food, buying the table and chairs I wanted and having neighbor Jay pick them up and assemble them. I was not allowed to do anything except make a marinated vegetable salad. My Megan said, “I’ve worked so hard planning this from Austin. I tried to get Jordan to help me.” We all laughed, because Megan is not a planner—Jordan is. She sees to every little detail and adds touches I never would think of. I realize these days I rely on her more and more when I give a large party. She outdid herself this weekend. The other children were part of giving the party but they are quick to tell  you Jordan did all the work.

What do I do for her? I pick up Jacob after school and help with his homework; I am almost always available to keep him overnight or whenever needed. I am eternally grateful I picked him up yesterday from day camp, so he wasn’t in his mom’s car for the accident. I cook dinner for her family as often as they’ll let me. I do whatever I can to help when something is needed—and I freely dispense cooking advice along with a lot of love.

Best thing? Almost daily, she says to me, “I love you.”

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