CONVERSATION WITH…A Pea Pod… Coping with her Pea-Pod-in-Law

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I passed a vegetable garden. An open pea pod, missing one of her peas, looked devastated. I started a conversation…

mom pea pod

Hey Pea Pod, let me guess. Your missing pea is getting you down.

PEA POD: Is it that obvious?

I’d know that expression anywhere. It’s the same look I have on my face when I think about missing my daughter who moved far away.

PEA POD: My oldest daughter moved away, too! She busted me open and rolled off on her own. Miles from this garden, which is a marathon for a pea.

Where’s your daughter now?

PEA POD: She’s part of an hors d’oeuvre.

Wow. That’s different. How did that happen?

PEA POD: It pains me to talk about it, but she met a pea from another garden. He grew up in a snap pea, so she went off with him and joined his family. Now, since she’s an hors d’oeuvre, she’s sitting inside a snap pea pod! But I’m the pod who brought her up! I’m her mother! How can she be inside another pod?

I know how it feels.

PEA POD: Here’s my daughter in her new pod, on Instagram. She’s on the right. Her boyfriend’s on the left (he’s shorter than she is). And, of course, the evil mom snap pea pod is holding them.

snap pea pod

Well, let me say this. Your daughter isn’t sitting in that snap pea pod the same way she once sat inside you. Since she’s part of an hors d’oeuvre, there’s hummus and paprika between her and the snap pea pod. They’re obviously not as close.

PEA POD: I know. But they’re still together.

Anyway, you’re not alone. My daughter met a guy and has become involved with his family, too. Especially his mother.

PEA POD: It’s so unfair! I feel so betrayed!  My daughter is MY DAUGHTER! What the hell is she doing hanging out with someone else’s mother???? She’s MY daughter!  Mine mine mine! Not some other snap pea pod’s! I don’t want a pod-in-law! I want my daughter!

Your pain is my pain.

PEA POD: It’s killing me! My lovely pea daughter grew inside ME!  I’M the one who protected her from storms and wind and the cold so she could thrive. I’M the one who watched her grow up and kept her safe.  And what do I get for it? As soon as she grows big enough, she rolls off and gets chummy with another pod.

When my children were growing up, we were like peas in a pod, too. We were really close. It’s hard to accept some of the new connections they make when they leave.

PEA POD: You said it.

Hey listen. In your daughter’s case, it could have been a lot worse. I mean she could have gone off and done something self-destructive, like become part of a bowl of pea soup.

PEA POD: I suppose.

Or she could have gotten emotionally lost in a salad. And had panic attacks.

PEA POD: True that. Same with your daughter. Even though she moved far away, she chose to be part of another family. So, maybe being part of a family is important to our daughters, no matter how far away they are. Maybe we helped them see that family is comforting.

And anyway…maybe the universe is driving us in this direction.  Because one day, maybe our daughters will become mothers and find themselves in the same situation. It’s important that we set examples for them. If someday they have sons or daughters, how will they cope if their children become members of other families? I think we need to show them we can accept it and move on with our lives.

PEA POD: You’re so right.

So…do you feel better now?


I don’t either.

PEA POD: Sigh.

I’ll tell you what. Why don’t we exchange numbers. If I hear any comforting words on this subject, I’ll text you. And vice versa.

PEA POD: Sounds like a plan.


With that, the pea pod and I went our separate ways. But since we’re still feeling unsettled, we throw it out to you, dear virtual friends and fellow pea pods. If you are reading this, do you have comforting words to share? If you’ve let go of your children and continue to watch them become attached to other families, how do you find peace with it? Or…if you’re someone’s son or daughter and are part of two families, how do you balance it?



I walked for miles and miles Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road and finally plopped down on a park bench. I was exhausted. A moment later, an older mobile phone sat down beside me. I sighed. The mobile phone asked:

mobile phone

MOBILE PHONE: What’s wrong?

Well, I don’t mean to be rude, but a mobile phone is the last thing I need to see right now.

MOBILE PHONE: Why? What did I do?

Nothing. It’s just that you’re a painful reminder of my daughter’s move to the other side of the country. My relationship with her has been reduced to text messages and calls on a phone like you.

MOBILE PHONE: Don’t I know it. Social media is killing me. I’m constantly working. Why do you think I look this way? Smashed screen. My keys don’t tap properly. My battery is dying. I need to retire but my owner isn’t due for an upgrade.

I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve never looked at it that way.

MOBILE PHONE: And I’ve never seen it through your eyes. What’s bothering you about mobile phones. We’re working our butts off for ya.

Do you really want to know?

MOBILE PHONE: I can take it.

Here goes. My daughter will text me about something that makes her happy. Like, last week she had a surprise birthday party. She texted me a photo of herself with her friends, but I didn’t get to hear everyone shout “Surprise!” when she walked in the room. I missed that moment.


And when my daughter isn’t feeling well, she calls me. I can hear her raspy voice on the phone, but I can’t be there to give her tea and toast.


Last night was the worst. My daughter made herself a nice dinner. She texted a photo of it, but I couldn’t be there to taste it with her.


And over the weekend, my daughter sent a Snapchat of herself at the end of a marathon she’d just run. But I couldn’t watch her cross the finish line.


And about a month ago, my daughter texted me when she was afraid of the out-of-control fires in California. She texted there was smog and smoke in the air, but I couldn’t be there to smell it. I couldn’t be part of her experience. At all.

MOBILE PHONE: Okay, okay. Stop. I get it. As a mobile phone, I have my limits. You can’t see, hear, smell or taste experiences you’d like to have with your daughter.

I couldn’t have said it better.

MOBILE PHONE: But each time your daughter contacts you, there’s something you can feel.

What’s that?