Mothers and Daughters. The (Hair) Ties that Bind

If you are a mom, you know that the relationship between mothers and daughters and mothers and sons are incredibly different.

In all honesty, I was petrified of having a daughter. The relationship between my mother and me was incredibly complicated. Believe me—I loved my mother but we weren’t as close as we could have been. I do believe it was just one of those personality things. That being said, my mom was still a great mother!

Having two sons before the birth of my daughter taught me that sons are different.

me and the kids wythe hotel brooklyn

Yo! I LOVE my two boys, but the relationship between moms and sons and mom and daughters is definitely different!! Here we are at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn–the greatest gift the three kids gave me last Christmas was a weekend here!

 Boys are more easy going—and by that I mean they are low maintenance. Girls are a bit more—well, girly!

With girls, you can dress them up like little dolls.

                       oona in cute outfit       I’ll never forget this outfit. It was so adorable and I got to dress Oona up like a little Frenchie–Oh lala!

When they are really young, you can set the tone and shape and mold their future tastes (For the most part. Sorta. Kinda.)!

Oona halloween court jester

My favorite Halloween costume I made for Oona. She really DID look like a doll!

Ugh—before I start one of my infamous ramblings—let me just get to the point.

Oona is moving to Arkansas in two weeks. It’s a career move which will prove to be a very good one.


All the way up to Fayetteville.  Not even a beach!  I hope there are at least Starbucks in Arkansas!  I hope there are direct flights from Philly too!

That means she will be moving far away from me. I’ve been getting into these “moods” of crying then being ok and then crying then being ok. It is the slippery slope of emotions, I must say!

We spent a Mommy/Daughter weekend that ended yesterday evening when Bonaparte and I dropped her off at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station and she went back to New York.

30th st station

It’ll be a while before Oona visits via Amtrak!

We won’t have another weekend like that in a long while. I will miss the beejezus outta her!


We saw Trainwreck together..and bonded over our trainwreck moments! Sorry to admit, but I probably had too many of them back in the day…..

Steak tartare

We went out to dinner at Sips in Phoenixville–and she didn’t care that I ate raw meat!

Oona and me in our cardis

We went to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale together. Oona gifted me with this Barefoot Dreams blanket Cardigan. We have matching outfits now!  I LOVE this pic of us!

We talk just about every day. We text during the day. We argue. We make up. We laugh together. We cry together. We share hair ties together!

hairties that bind

We DO share hair ties–which is good because we don’t have to worry about catching Lice from each other!

We shop together. We exchange reality show opinions together. We gossip together. We argue some more together. We make up some more together. We eat Chinese food and  Sushi together. And we eat things that we should not eat together–like decadent desserts and over-caloric sundaes that I’ll make. We go to the movies together. We cook together. We do laundry together. I do her laundry and ironing when she visits.

Oona's Laundry

I won’t iron EVERYTHING. Some things just gotta be dried on a rack!

More Laundry

Thank you, Oona. Thank you for allowing me the pleasure of washing a suitcase full of dirty clothes. It gives me a special purpose–Just like Steve Martin’s in The Jerk!

We get mani-pedi’s together. We go to the movies together as much as we can—nothing like a chick flick with your daughter!

Better pedis

Best buddy to get a pedi with–my daughter!!!!!

If it were not for my daughter getting her hair cut at Bleu Mousse Salon in Wayne, PA—because it is less expensive than hair cutters in NYC, I would have never found my favorite hair stylist, Adam! …or I would never have this great Coach bag that she handed down to me….

Coach bag

It’s crazy–but I love when Oona gives me the purses she no longer needs! Mommy loves a great hand-me-down!

or…I would never have this wonderful “Blardigan” (Blanket+Cardigan) that she gifted me with when we went to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale together!

Bblardigan by Barefoot dreams

This is the comfy, cozy blanket cardigan that Oona gifted me with. Now I can think of her every time I wear it. Believe me, it’ll come in handy during the winter. She already warned me–not to cook in it because I’m a slob and to not stuff my used tissues into the sleeves!  WHO’S THE MOMMY??????

If it were not for my daughter, I would have never learned to have a great mother/daughter relationship—the one I missed having with my mom!

Oona tells me that I’ve given her a great sense of classic style. I tell Oona she has “youthed” up my wardrobe—if it weren’t for her, I would never have my “Kut From The Kloth” demim jacket that I love so much!

Kut from the Kloth

If it were not for my daughter, I would be missing out on some great clothing choices that keep me young!

I love the phases that our relationship has taken over the years. I remember hugging her and kissing her and holding her in my lap when she was a baby!

Me and oona her as baby

It’s an oldie but goodie! I would sit for hours like this! I miss those days!

I remember reading to her –every. single. night. From the books like “Madeline”—we can both recite ..”In a small house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived 12 little girls, in two straight lines…..

Madeline cover

…In two straight lines, they broke their bread and brushed their teeth and went to bed. Yup! We both quote our favorite little girl book all the time!

Then as she got older, a chapter a night from Amelia Bedelia..


…and we still joke about my personal “Amelia Bedelia” moments!

It helped her as she got older and snuggled in bed with her Baby Sitters Clubs Books that she read on her own.

BSC1Baby sitters club books

Honestly. I think Oona read EVERY single Baby Sitter’s Club book–then graduated to Sweet Valley High books!

We had fun and trials and tribulations during her Irish Dance days. We spent quality time at lessons and competitions.

Feis Rollers

From the early days of setting her hair in “feis rollers” –which took about an hour and a half to do–then was worse taking these things out. “Stop! You’re abusing my hair!!!” became a regular line!

picture 2010 O

To the closure of her championship days during college.  It was our special time together!

When she had kidney stones, I prayed to God that I would get them instead so she didn’t have to suffer the pain.

To this day, when we are together, she still asks me to brush her hair–just like when she was little. I love that!

Trust me—I’m so not the perfect mom. I could have been more strict. I could have been more mature. I could have been more emotionally stable—especially during my divorce. I could have been less of the drama mama! But—the fact is, that I tried and my daughter always accepted me the way I am. I thank her for that!

I miss those days when she was sick from school with the flu or a bad cold and I would set up the sofa in the family room to be her makeshift bed. I’d get her pillows, a blanket and a throw up pail at the ready and sit down and watch TV with her all day.

I miss those days when I was able to drive her to school instead of her taking the bus. Just because.

I even miss some of those “teenaged” years—you know. Those years between, say—13 and 17 when she knew more than I did! Now we know the same!

My sons—they don’t call me enough. When a son grows up, they don’t need their mothers that much anymore. You kind of have to call your daughter to tell her to tell your sons to call you. I love my sons, but sometimes I think they forget about me. (Self-pitying mom moment here) Pause. OK. Done with the moment—back to the daughter!)

me and oona at the beach 1993

At Long Beach, NY when she was a toddler..or out to dinner when she was a young teen or with her brothers–or any of us, he smile lights up a room! We are all gonna miss this girl!

In my delusional world and mind, I would be wealthy enough that I could fly to Oona’s new home in Arkansas once a month and hang with her. I would fly down and do her laundry, then I would go to the grocery store and buy groceries, then I would make enough home-cooked meals until my next visit. I would clean her apartment and go to Home Goods and buy her stuff!

But—this is the real world. My baby has grown up. She has a career. She is an independent young woman in her mid-twenties. She is intelligent. She is pragmatic. She is beautiful. She will be fine.

Oona on terp

When she started college she was just a kid–but when my little Terp graduated U of MD, she was a poised and confident young woman ready to take on the world!

I am a helicopter mom. My purpose has been carried out. I taught her to be her own person. I will be fine knowing she is fine. But—I won’t be fine because I’ll miss her.

oona as ariel

From those early Halloweens in NYC…

being silly during christmas shopping

…to totally silly moments like the photo booth at Urban Outfitters…to..

me and oona last winter

…selfies in the car, we have the best time together!

So—to all the moms out there with daughters. Today’s post is for you. Love your daughters. If they are close to home, have a dinner together. If she is far away, call her just to tell her you love her and miss her.

I love you Oona! Here’s one of our favorite songs: “Daughter”s, by John Mayer.  Get a tissue because the lyrics ring true!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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14 Responses to Mothers and Daughters. The (Hair) Ties that Bind

  1. Leslie Preston says:

    You did a great job, Mom! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your relationship with your daughter, especially the forgiveness parts. I have a daughter……crickets…..

  2. Catherine says:

    Thanks Leslie! Glad you liked reading about me and Oona! Crickets—and little grasshoppers too!! XOXOXOXO!

  3. gk says:

    “Trust me—I’m so not the perfect mom. I could have been more strict. I could have been more mature. I could have been more emotionally stable—especially during my divorce. I could have been less of the drama mama!” – I really love how sincere and honest you are with yourself. I feel a lot of guilt for the period of turmoil/drama I suffered when my kids were little. Do you ever feel guilty, or do you mostly think, “I did the best I could at the time?”.
    Your children are so beautiful and you’ve obviously done a great job as a parent!

    • Catherine says:

      gk–I feel guilty EVERY DAY!!!! I swear there is not a day that goes by that I think “Oh man-I feel bad that I couldn’t pay for my kids’ college education”–or “Oh shit–I wish I had the mon-mon to give my kids a down payment for an apartment”. or–“Ohhhhhh…I wish I had a great job so that I could afford to live back in NYC and then I could live near the kids and we could all enjoy a big Sunday dinner together”! THIS is the kind of stuff that goes on in my sick little mind!! Wait–I feel a surge of guilt coming on! LOL!! XOXOXOXO!

  4. Maureen Aupperlee says:

    That was beautiful. I never had a daughter but if I did I would want to have your parenting Mother/Daughter skills. Remember you are a plane ride away.

  5. Catherine says:

    Aww, thanks Maureen! I’m thinking more and more about getting on a plane to visit! XOXOXOXO! I’ll see you in December, though–at Aunt Catherine’s party!

  6. angela ambrose says:

    Sniff sniff! That made me cry ! I’m all choked up now!:(

  7. Catherine says:

    Ang…ohhhhhhhhh…here’s a hug for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Jean says:

    We all feel as you do re our parenting, our sons and daughters (darn those independent sons!). Thank goodness for our daughters. That’s what so great about your blog. It’s real, unlike one I sometimes check into, solely for a laugh, to see how older women are told to dress, accessorize, and sometimes even how to eat, in hopes of becoming as perfect as the writer I strive to be better, but alas I’m not nor ever will be perfect. Just like everyone.

  9. Catherine says:

    LOL. Jean. My oldest son is coming this weekend. Basically, it’s to crash because he has a reunion with some high school friends. The “mommy” in me asked him (practically BEGGED) if I could make cookies for the party. Am I acting like my 31 year old son is 11????????? I’m off to the grocery store in a bit!! BTW–I really appreciate the fact you like my realness in the blog. I, too, see a couple of blogs geared to older women (just like me–am I THAT old? Yeah. I am) and my thought is–Wow! I’ll NEVER be that perfect–or close to it! As I write this now, I’m wearing an old t-shirt, no bra, stretched out panties because I just fake tanned my legs and they need to dry-then I’ll throw on a sun dress and put my hair in a messy bun! I think I prefer being the less-than-perfect one….it DOES give us something to strive for–right? I’m rambling again. Sorry!

  10. Annmarie says:

    Catherine, I love, love, love your humor and your honesty in your blogs! I always wanted a daughter, as I have 3 boys and have been the helicopter mom like you.. So I can relate! But, after reading this, I really miss even more never had a daughter .. It’s a beautiful thing❤️

    • Catherine says:

      Annmarie. Thank you so much for your positive comments–they keep me going! I’ll tell you, thoughout my pregnancy with Oona, I was sure I was going to have another boy. We even had a name picked out “Julian”. When I ended my 12-minute (Yes, having a ten-pounder the first time paved the way for the others) labor and the doctor said. “Oh Wow! It’s a girl”, I was shocked and petrified. I was petrified because of the relationship between me and my mom. But, it turned out to be the greatest moment! I’ll miss her for sure when she moves–but fingers crossed that at some point she’ll move back to the East Coast!!! PS. I’m happy to learn of another helicopter mom–we are NOT that bad!!! Right??? XOXOXOXOXO!

  11. Annmarie says:

    We are the best, Catherine!!!

  12. Catherine says:

    Annmarie–You got it!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

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