Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Meagan's Song


I am searching for heartfelt and inspirational stories about mother-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which daughters and moms might derive hope and guidance after reading them.

What did you learn from this unique parent-child relationship, how it has changed over the years, how you two dealt with conflict, etc? The stories can be about good or bad times, as long as the result is something others can learn from. There are no format or length requirements.

For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website, http://www.gregoryelang.com/, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

I’m also conducting recorded telephone interviews for those who prefer to tell rather than write their story. Just send me an email with your phone number and dates/times you are available. Interviews typically last 30-45 minutes.

If you’d like to submit a daughter-mom photo to display on this blog, please email it to greg.lang@mindspring.com.

If this is your first visit to my blog, please read the Frequently Asked Questions posted on March 20, 2008.

The deadline for submitting your story or participating in an interview is August 1, 2008.

Now on to today’s post~

Today’s photos areof my neighbors, Bethany, mom, daughter and son. They will appear in Mom’s Little Angel. What a great couiple of shots, if I may say so myself. The joy each new generation brings!

On to today’s story:

Becky, my ex-wife, and I have been divorced nearly fifteen years. During all of that time we have shared joint custody of our daughter. Meagan lives for a time with Jill, Linley and me, and then with her mom, and back again. Our homes are less than five miles apart. Becky and I talk on the phone or email one another often, negotiating agreements about extending new privileges to our daughter who has, chronologically at least, reached adulthood. As Meagan prepares to leave home for college in just two short months, it is a time for Becky and I to reflect on how we’ve done as divorced but co-parents.

As I’ve written elsewhere, my relationship with Meagan has changed, but so too has her relationship with her mother. Together they still enjoy lengthy and enthusiastic conversations about boys, girlfriend spats, celebrity news, or the latest reality television show. They still shop for hours, have their hair and nails done side by side, and get dressed up to impress when going out on the town for dinner and a movie. And for a while, it was her mother who Meagan turned to for consolation, protection and understanding. As a woman, as a mom, it was Becky who could comprehend what I could not, at least not until I began to enjoy the interpretive support and insight of Jill.

But back to the change in their relationship. I think it is I who is better prepared for Meagan’s coming departure. In the last several months and in those precious few that remain before Meagan takes up residence in a college dorm, I have been slowly releasing the reigns. I’ve been giving Meagan more and more autonomy, responsibility and discretion, making sure, I believe, she can handle unbridled freedom before it is too late to rush in and rescue her. Her mother, on the other hand, is tightening her grip on the reigns a bit, fearing her daughter is on the verge of leaping from the nest and not knowing if she can fly. A role reversal of sorts is taking place as Meagan now calls me for suggestions about how to deal with her mother, a mom who tearfully professes, “I’m not ready for you to leave!”

So this story is for Becky; it is for the three of us of our original family. It is about a song Becky spontaneously created in the middle of the night while breastfeeding our daughter all those years ago. It is a song a mother sang to comfort her daughter, a song that I think now will comfort the mother, too:

I'm speaking of Meagan with the hair of gold
and eyes of blue
she's sweet, I'm told
sweetest little baby, sweetest little girl
sweetest little baby in the whole wide world
ask her for a kiss and she'll probably give you two
ask her for a hug, she'll say I love you
sweetest little baby, sweetest little girl
sweetest little baby in the whole wide world
ask her for her heart she'll give it away
ask her to brighten a rainy day
she is filled with sunshine
she is filled with love
she was sent down from heaven above
ask her for a kiss and she’ll probably give you two
ask her for a hug, she'll say I love you
sweetest little baby, sweetest little girl
sweetest little baby in the whole wide world
that's our Meagan!

Becky, believe me, our daughter can fly. You have helped me make sure of it.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

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