I like to write about the mother-daughter relationship. In this piece, I explore the moments when you are both a mother and daughter.
I also wanted to include the physical experience of those feelings.This piece began as an entry to a short story contest.
“How is it that she's the mother and I am the child?”
I felt the reversal of what I was thinking. Then, I felt the weight. Perennial weight. Because the question asked exists on some attenuated, amplified, frequency modulated band of the universe. The question is in us daughters. We are born with that inquiry, marked on our social development DNA.
This time, confused not disoriented. I felt it differently. Relaxing into the lightheaded feeling of being in both places like a yoga stretch where the head feels hung on wrong. I've been in both places now. I let the energy sink in.
I listened to her last night. I have been obsessed with listening to her lately. “How is she only 178 months old? Seriously. I've been here 3.5 times longer, if you round up in the 3rd decimal place.” Yet, she knows answers that I didn't know. At least, that how it strikes me.
“Wait a minute.”
Scratching my head to remember which side to be on.
“Oh. Ohhhh? I am both.”
I've come to the time and space where I am both. No wonder! The low grade persistent dizziness made sense now.
Hearing my neck crack from the inside of my head as I twisted to straighten out a bit. I hooked my feet, overlapped at the ankle. Like a frog pose, you know how young people or puppies do when they are more occupied with the activity on the top half of their body then their bottom. I felt young or timeless. I loved writing on my stomach. I forgot. Don't believe them when they say you can't do your work this way. It feels so good.
My feet were now hanging off the edge of the bed and so were my ankles and a part of my calf on my right side.
I was thinking. Twirling my feet like some might twirl hair.
"It is possible to be two places at once.”
The feet were hooked again. You are living it. You are both her mother and her daughter.
I paused. Not wanting to assume anything. I just lay there. I wanted to say I dunno. But, the flash of thought had already entered my consciousness.
“Her mother is you.”
“Her daughter is both of you.”
Hand on chin, head tilted and leaning into one hand, legs out stretched again. I stopped for a while.
“No wonder there's so much fighting.”