My daughter leaves parts of herself all around the place. She especially sheds bits and pieces chez moi. As if she doesn’t want to be apart from me for any length of time. I find cigarette lighters, books, old credit cards, dirty clothes, clean clothes, makeup, food, bottles without lids on them, and children’s toys piling up in the back of the car. It takes hours to clean it out when I need to have it serviced.

Her hair is blonde, her face as fair as a Nordic maiden’s; I’m a true brunette—Same for her father, who’s as olive as a man from the shores of Canaan. My hazel brown eyes contrast greatly with her cerulean blue ones.

Katie is a child of the excessive eighties, while I’m a product of the post-war years. She’s extroverted, whereas I’m more introverted. She was born and bred in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney. I have never thrown off my rural roots from the far north coast of New South Wales. I love nothing better than to spend time in nature, breathing in its rhythms and its smells; Katie loves shopping, dating, and applying perfume and makeup to her lovely features.

I like to read, she loves to watch reality videos. Anything American captures her fancy; for me, it’s ABC or SBS. She likes those Bachelor and Bachelorette shows on TV.

My motto has always been Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Hers was: Relax and leave it until later. That was until she had children of her own! And (implied meaning?) someone else will do it for you. I swear sometimes that she was a great dame in a past life with servants and valets, the works!

My childhood felt bereft of love. So I brought her up according to the Continuum Concept, which meant having all her needs fulfilled at every moment of the day and night, while a baby. (Was this a case of reverse neglect?) Breast milk and suckling were “on tap” and on-demand, as well as total body access. I think the “love” I bestowed on Baby Kate was really, at the base, meant also for myself. My mother-in-law’s words still ring in my ears after all this time: ‘You are making a yoke for your neck, my girl.’

Did I bestow on her … can there be, too much love? No, but you can misinterpret the full meaning of love. Perhaps consistent disciplining should be part of the mix.

One of Kate’s eccentricities in early adulthood was that she never put lids back on vessels after opening them. Bottles full of liquid, plastic containers, it was all the same. I often wondered if this was connected to the “excessive love” thing. Was it a metaphor for over-abundance, wanting the flow to continue and not to be turned off? Nursing Mothers had told me that you couldn’t overfeed a baby. Wrong! In Kate’s case, I did.

Kate experienced a Dionysian-like adolescence, socializing excessively, drinking, smoking, and missing out on completing her studies. She suffered emotional problems and never got to travel overseas. Certainly, my sort of love-in-surfeit was better than the inverse of neglect. But a more balanced form of mothering might have benefited her in her teenage years and beyond.

Dionysian – Yahoo Search Results
Terms representing a dichotomy/dialectic between rationality and emotion The Apollonian and the Dionysian are…

When Kate was seven, I suffered a clinical depression followed by a breakdown. I was lost to her for some months. I managed to overcome my problems through great effort and a will to change. Kate doesn’t feel the need to change. Or is it that life has changed her, anyway?

Katie has always known that life will go on in some form after death. For half of my life, I was a spiritual fence-sitter, the original “Doubting Thomas”, until my spiritual change. Kate was born under Gemini, the sign of the twins, an air sign; I’m a Scorpio, a sign of the deeper waters.

At 36, I was so overjoyed to conceive, that I sang to the developing fetus and felt in contact with her from the start. She didn’t want to leave the sanctuary of the womb and came out looking a little befuddled and bleary. I called her “Katie Bear”, and I knew in my heart that I had created the most beautiful creature on the earth. The doctor on duty said those words, that made my heart sing: She’s a good looker.

For many years, I supported Kate through her emotional problems, always bigger and more dramatic than my own had been. Hers had big names, like BP1, BP2, and even BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). Then one day, as she neared her fourth decade, she woke up from a long long sleep, and, like a mythic bird, took flight.

Since that day, she’s learning to become centered, to keep her nest clean and tidy, and even to put lids on bottles and jars after she opens them. The first full-time job that she applied for and won, was all about helping others, refugees, and suffering human beings.

My daughter really is an exceptional human being! Who else could have survived a background of addictions; overcome serious mental disabilities, and scored a top career position later in life? She remains positive and is an amazing artist, painting pictures that light up a room like her personality. Life is, indeed, a work in progress.

Through all our trials and tribulations our love has remained steadfast. As Shakespeare said: “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”

Beautiful Polarities Reign In This Family