As the author of mother-daughter stories, I thought for Mother’s Day, it fitting to look to some of my favorite authors on what they had to say about mothers in their books.
As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sue it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.” Kristin Hannah , Summer Island
“Think for a minute, darling: in fairy tales it’s always the children who have the fine adventures. The mothers have to stay at home and wait for the children to fly in the window” Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife
“I wonder if other mothers feel a tug sat their insides, watching their children grow up into the people they themselves wanted so badly to be.” Jodi Picoult, Keeping Faith
Motherhood is a complicated profession, and anyone that does not consider it a profession, most assuredly has never been one. My own mother passed away in 1996, and I still miss her every day, The woman she was when she left us was the not the Mom I remember. Mom was a five foot two spit-fire. She walked so fast that I could never keep up with her. Mom, clad in a red terry bathrobe, stuck her curlered head in the oven to dry her hair while she ran around the red Formica-countered kitchen preparing casseroles to take to family reunions. Mom did head-stand contests with my brothers and I to the utter dismay of my father who would come home from work and bend at his waist to look at my upside-down mother and ask “What for dinner?” Mom never understood how I never learned to cook, when I spent seventeen years of my life perched on the red stool in the kitchen babbling away while she cooked. She said, “I thought you were paying attention.” Ugh – sorry Mom, not. Mom rode my brother’s mini-bike on a dare – and drove it right up a tree. We tried real hard not to laugh. Mom loved fast cars, her favorite being her 1966 red Ford Mustang. Are you seeing a pattern here of red? Her favorite color and so fitting of her personality.
When I married, moved away and lived in multiple states, I gave little thought to my mother sitting home in the now quite house with a stoic husband who rarely spoke. Her household went from a boisterous family of six to a sedate family of two in only two years. My heart breaks for her now, and I can only hope she understands that I finally get it. One of her favorite saying to me was, “You won’t understand until your are a mother yourself.” No truer words could ever have been spoken.
Parts of motherhood came easy – the loving them unconditionally part. Others, not so much. I am the proud mother of three daughters and a son. As a grandmother many times over now, I see the short-comings I made as a mother. As hallowed as the word “mother” is, we are a flawed species. We make mistakes – lots of them, and we carry the guilt of those mistakes with us forever. We fall to pieces easily – whether it’s a joyful or a sad occasion. Tears are a part of who we are. And sometimes – if we have to defend our young, we will fight to the death. It’s a humbling existence to be a Mom. You often feel set aside, obsolete, forgotten. But I’ll tell you this – if you did your job even half right, your thoughts, your words and actions will be so ingrained in your children, that even when they don’t think they are listening to you, their sub-conscious is. The most we can hope for is when are time comes, and the good Lord looks at his list, checking of “mother” as your profession, He says, “Come on in, well done.”
Tell me your favorite mother story – either as a Mom or about your own Mom – or someone that fit the bill of Mom. Being a Mom does not have to be genetic.