The start is only the beginning

Here are some awesome mother and daughter quotes on Pinterest:

Watching you grow up seems like a lifetime in a minute.

You entered the world as a Sunday’s child, arriving on a hot July evening, surrounded by family anxious to meet you. That moment was the highlight of my life, something you’ll understand better when you have a child of your own some day.

You commanded your place in the family tree as the oldest cousin on one side and the youngest on the other, comfortable in your position as an only child treasured by a large extended family, never lacking a babysitter or someone to play with.

You inherited the best traits from your father and me, thankfully, along with a strong aversion to tomatoes and a fondness of spicy homemade pickles.

You went on your first camping trip when you were just two weeks old, horrifying the grandparents, but you were no trouble at all at the Citizen Alert retreat on the edge of the Great Basin National Park, the year it became a park. Since then you’ve traveled widely throughout rural Nevada, taking part in sweat lodges, backpacks up the South Twin, and a memorable Girl Scout campout amid the Ichthyosaurs, discovering how pine nuts emerge after a heavy rain.

You also share an affinity for the crashing surf of the Big Sur coastline and the Butterfly Trees of my hometown. You always wanted to go wherever we traveled, getting lost briefly in a Guatemalan village on the shores of Lake Atitlan and playing with the children of Spanish friends along the walls of Avila, like a medieval child.

You startled your father as a pre-schooler, when you boldly announced you would be marrying a Young Republican one day, and then giggled along with your teacher at his reaction. He worried less when a few years later you answered your Uncle John’s question about the difference between a Republican and a Democrat by saying: “Republicans care about money. Democrats care about people.”

You used to beg me not to file for re-election, knowing it would mean another winter when I’d be gone before you woke up and arrive home well after bedtime. Yet, after college you became involved in politics at a much higher level, working in the U.S. Senate Cloakroom and now as a leadership advisor for an important female senator. You say you’ll never run for political office, having witnessed the bitterness and toll of campaigning all too closely, yet people wonder if it’s not your destiny.

Your wedding to a gentle, brilliant, politically astute young man gives the many progressives in your circle of family and friends such hope. If we are ever to move toward solving the world-threatening problems of climate change, religious warfare, and figuring out how to use our budget for the common good instead of further enriching the few, it’s educated, committed people like you who will do it. Our generation clearly has failed to lead by example.

You are both strong in your beliefs, caring deeply about family, your close network of friends, and the world around you. You’re willing to work hard to achieve your goals, and you understand the necessity of compromise. No one is ever always right.

Your children will be raised with these same values, speaking two languages, and realizing the incredible luck they’ve had to be born to you. You will tell them proudly about our success at stopping the MX and Yucca Mountain in Nevada, but you must be better than us and contribute more to the world.

Weddings are full of great joy, but they are also a touchstone for our own mortality. We too must adjust to a new place in the family tree, admitting our many failings while celebrating our greatest success.