“As Hope Edelman puts it so well in her book Motherless Daughters: ‘Our mothers are our most direct connection to our history and our gender.’ By their presence or absence, the example they set or the lack of it, their positive influence or their negative one, by what they gave us and what they couldn’t, for every girl who makes the journey from child to woman, the first mirror in which she looks is the mirror of her mother’s face.

What we do and don’t see there is a part of us forever.”

Girl in the Mirror: Mothers and Daughters in the Years of Adolescence. Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D. , 2002.

Fingers crossed.

(Thank you, Janice.)

About Andrea

Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

  • Andree O’Donnell

    Howu00a0incrediblyu00a0coincidental that your blog was on this because theseu00a0thoughtsu00a0above have been circling around me all week.u00a0Thanks, it is just the reminder I needed.u00a0

  • I’m glad, Andree. The extended quote is:nn“When we talk t our adolescent daughters, — whether it is a quiet evening heart-to-heart or a heated confrontation– we are never really alone with them. This is the one simple truth about mothers and daughters and the years of adolescence. And it is universal.nnIn the room with us are our past selves, the adolescent girls we once were. Our own mothers’ words echo when we talk, and sometimes those of our grandmothers. There are voices of old friends and their mothers. Our younger selves–the women we were before we became mothers– keep us company too. The room in which we find ourselves, seemingly alone with our daughters, can be a crowded place. nnPast, present and future collide when we look into our daughters’ faces. All of our dreams–those we’ve realized and those we think beyond our grasp…..”nnI’ve just started it, but I’m enjoying the book so far. Especially as it deals with menopause-moms and adolescent girls and changes in ourselves:nn“Looking at her tonight, it seems as though her babyhood was a very long time ago…But I too have changed. I am no longer the tentative young woman I was at 34… My 50th birthday is no longer in the distant future. My child-bearing years are over; there’s a new stage of life ahead, and I’m looking forward to it. The young woman who cradled Kate in her arms was still a person in search of herself; the woman who sits across from the teenager knows who she is and must appear to be a formidable opponent.”nnIf it continues to be good, I’ll loan it to you when I’m done, if you like.

  • janice

    Cool, you are reading it then. I don’t remember much detail of that book, but I know it helped me enjoy Alison’s company, through her adolescence (but not always!) nnWhen I look at my beautiful daughter, I think maybe I was a good mom, despite hideous self-doubt all the way.nnWhen I look at your lovely young ladies, and how you interact, it reminds me of me and Alison, and I KNOW you are a good mom.

  • Thank you, Janice. For the book and your kind words.

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