My Dear Mother

Today I wish all moms a very happy Mother’s Day!

I especially wish a happy day to my mother, Oona. Like many are saying to their mothers today, my mom did a spectacular job raising four children. She has never been anything other than loving, fair, and supportive to her kids. Many words have been used to describe my mother: lady, sweet, kind, generous, best friend. She is all of that and more.

Mom always let us have dessert, even if we hadn’t eaten all our peas and carrots. She let us listen to the radio station of our choice in the car, even if she didn’t care for the music. She sat through many television shows she didn’t enjoy without complaint, including the hockey games my Dad loved to watch. Like many mothers, she was the one who had to clean up when the dog got sick or pooped all over the rug. She consoled four children through vaccinations, upset stomachs, stitches, and broken bones. She has supported those same four through the ups and downs of adult life.

The best compliment I have heard my mother receive came a few years ago from a family friend, who said she always felt at home when visiting my mother’s house. Mom is always ready with a warm welcome, a pot of tea, cookies, and the time for a good chat. She has a gift for friendship, and how she has given it has been a valuable lesson for me.

One of my favorite “mom” stories involves an Alice Cooper poster in my brother Bob’s room. This was the 1970’s, and I’m guessing it was a photo of Cooper with a snake around his neck. It didn’t please Mom, but instead of ripping it down and throwing it out (or burning it), or waiting until Bob came home to yell at him before ripping the poster down and throwing it out (or burning it), she wrote a polite note asking Bob to remove the poster, because “it might scare the kids.” The kids being my sister, Patti, brother John, and I. How many mothers would be so thoughtful and self-restrained? !

So thank you, Mom, for your love, patience, and wisdom. You are always right!

*****

When I googled “mothers in literature” yesterday, five of the first ten hits offered lists of the worst moms in books (hello, Mommie Dearest)! Are we that lacking in excellent fictional mothers?

Of course not. To name a few of the great ones: Marmee from Little Women, Caroline of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, A Christmas Carol’s Mrs. Cratchit, Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s A Scarlet Letter, and Molly Weasley of Harry Potter fame.

Alexander McCall Smith, one of my favorite authors, has created my favorite literary mother – Precious Ramotswe, star of  the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Precious is the adopted mother of two orphans, Motholele and Puso. She is a gentle, compassionate mom to the two kids, and Smith endows her with the wisdom all mothers need to guide their children. And like my mother, Precious knows many problems can be solved while sharing a good pot of tea. I think I’ve said it before, I would love to have Precious as a friend.

Who is your favorite mother of literature? Do you love the sweet, nurturing moms, the slightly daffy ones, or the entertainingly overbearing mothers?

Have a great week, everyone!

 

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