One day, the mother, who was intuitive and empathetic about this issue, decided to write a story about the girl whom she adored. As she wrote her thoughts, she began to sense that the words were touching a soft place deep inside of her, stirring her spirit. Suddenly, it occurred to her that she was once that girl in the middle. What a revelation this was to the mother. How elated she was to see more clearly that she and her daughter really did share things in common. Important things that mattered, like being the middle child, born into a loving family, cute as the dickens, matured into a successful young woman, in search of her own life, separate from her mother.
And so goes the story of the Girl in the Middle. This story has no ending, really. The mother/daughter story is universal. There are lengthy books written about this phenomenon, but I think it is so very simple in its commonality amongst the female population. The miracle of birth is just that, a miracle. Giving birth to a daughter is a miracle with poignant implications. Instinctively, we look for likenesses to ourselves in our offspring; more so when, as mothers, we bring daughters into this world. There are many things we have in common with our daughters, and there are many blaring differences. Each of us is created to be unique, one of a kind. When a mother expects more similarities in a daughter for the mere fact that she is a girl, her hopes and dreams may be crushed when she finds out that this is not necessarily true. Every girl must individuate from her mother to some degree. It is a difficult, but necessary, transition for both.
The Girl in the Middle started out as a story about my own cherished daughter and me. Our stories are very different, I thought. The more I wrote about my special girl, however, the more I was stunned to realize how our stories are the same, too. I am the middle child in my own family. I, too, experienced the instinct to loosen the reigns, albeit at a much older age than she. I remember feeling stuck in the middle of two worlds. I am different from my own mother in many ways; we have learned to adapt. It occurred to me that my mother, most certainly, feels the same stress about our relationship.
The moral of the story is: Being the girl in the middle is a role that every female has played; so look for the commonalities with your daughter or your mother, celebrate them, and let go of the tension caused by your differences, if you can. Realize that you do have things in common and that, more importantly, you are bonded for this lifetime and into eternity. Never give up on one another, and remember to always respect one another.
My precious daughter truly is the main character in this story, and she has taken center stage in my life. I hope she knows how special she is to me; I think she does. After reading this, I hope she knows that I understand her role as the Girl in the Middle, because that girl was me, once upon a time. Always, forever, and no matter what, I love you, G. When are you coming home from college? I miss you!