Nope. I never quite lived up to the daughter fantasy she had in her head...though she tried valiantly to make me into that image.
And me, being rebellious and stubborn to a fault, I never gave her the satisfaction of becoming her frilly little girl, even though I was clad in velvet and ruffles and other sartorial nonsense.
And for the years of complaints and abuse from her for my many failings, to her friends and family (out of earshot from me), I've recently heard that she boasted about what a good daughter I was.
An Ode to My Mother, Before and After Alzheimer's
O Mother, had I, when but a child
seen at home the smiling countenance you showed to others
as you spoke of my accomplishments,
and basked in the glow of maternal satisfaction
I might have listened to your admonishments
and acquiesced to your way of thinking
How could I know you had me in your heart
when all I saw was contempt in your eyes?
Wasting so much time when we both
wanted only my happiness?
Instead, I heard your disapproval
even if it was only a sigh, but more often
loud shouting about my many failings,
my misdeeds etched upon my brain
to remind me of my lack of worth.
I felt the sting of your words, and worse,
the slaps and punches and objects thrown
my way to tell me I was not good enough to be your daughter.
Quite a lesson to teach a child; hope for success is futile.
And you, envious of the refuge I took in my father's company.
Had you only told ME what you told THEM!
Praised me to my face, offering reassurance
Instead, I hear years later, of how you were proud
and pleased in my presence.
Now that your memory of me is all but gone,
and you did not know what name to put with my face
You had no recollection of me when I visited
Perhaps now, you will look kindly upon me
And think that this smiling stranger before you
With eyes like yours Is somebody's wonderful daughter.
This ode was inspired by a prompt at Mama Kat's.