Mother-daughter relationships elicit such joy, and well, heartache. You see, we women are a delightful, perplexing blend of courage, cheer, and complexity. We feel deep love for each other and yet dread when we are just not communicating at our best.

Many of us have already lost our mothers to death, illness, or relational absence; others of us are inching forward on that journey. Some of us are stretched and knotted somewhere between the “can’t imagine living without you” and “can’t live with you.” Having experienced both the highs and lows and everything in between of a mother-daughter connection, I want to encourage you: look for and celebrate even the smallest signs of good in your relationship.

Your mother-daughter bond does not need to look like the happy-go-lucky commercials of shopping and trying on new jewelry together or giggling your way through coffee and muffins on an overstuffed sofa. Celebrate those kind of moments, but let’s also be realistic. Rough patches or seeing things differently is part of every honest, growing relationship.

Learn to allow your heart to bend in acceptance and forgiveness and moving forward together. As you do, remember, you two are not Hallmark® cards, you’re human.

Some of my best memories being with my mom were everyday simple. Weeding flowers. Listening to Nat King Cole. Picking peas in the garden. Watching her doodle with a pen while she chatted on the rotary phone. (Sorry, Mom, I just couldn’t sit still for the crocheting part.) And Mom, I’m now okay with you calling me your “baby,” even though I still think “youngest” is a better fit.

The gorgeous handcrafted heart is designed by my friend Tejae. Check out her artistry at http://www.tejaesart.com.

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