Mother’s day has always brought a flurry of mixed emotions. Part of me wants to boycott, thinking how wrong it is to designate only one day a year to honor women who have literally brought all of humanity into being. C’mon . . . one measly day a year?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not proposing we moms get inundated with cards, flowers and candy every day. In fact, that’s the part I like the least -the part that dictates some sort of expenditure in order to show our love for mom. Nope, give me a big ole hug any old day. Better yet, do my chores for a day without whining or being asked to do them. Wash and wax my car. Make me something from scratch. Or just give me a call and talk for hours about life, love and the pursuit of same.
I think it’s fitting that Mother’s Day comes close on the heels of Earth Day. Our big mother whose been there for us from the beginning of time. We owe her so much more than a card! And I doubt she wants us to yank up some of her flowers just to hand back to her. Nah . . . she probably wants us to be kinder to her. Kinder to each other. That’s what I’d want if I was her.
My own mother passed away several years ago. When I think of Gaia, I see her face – I always have. Mom was the epitome of everything natural. She was the most down-to-earth person I know. And she could do just about anything. I see her painting the walls of the houses we used to rent out. I see her building their foundations, pouring cement, laying brick, shingling roofs. I see her in the garden, picking tomatoes, beans, peaches. Then canning them or making the best from-scratch pie east of the Pacific. I see her raising her own meat: cows, sheep, chickens. I see her knitting and sewing and making her own patterns. I see her in the barn with all her tools, building a cabinet or a futon couch. Mom was amazing. If I had half her gumption, I’d be doing something extraordinary right now. Aside from blogging about my extraordinary mom.
Speaking of blogging, I have to remember that this is my blog about writerly stuff. So I really need to make the topic bookish in some way. And then tie it into my theme of Waxing Mom-stalgic.
So here goes.
I did a little google search, looking for books about Mom’ism and I found a few writers who I completely and totally respect for their awesomeness (just like my own mom!). One of them was Doris Lessing. Specifically her book, The Fifth Child. I’ve not read it but its blurb doesn’t sound all warm and fuzzy, not the kind of mom-ism filled with big ole sloppy sentiment. It sounds more like the kind of thing Doris Lessing would write – something tough and hard that looks at the more difficult aspects of being a mother. Sort of reminds me of that song by Blue October, the one where the drug addict is asking his mom to hate him so she can move on and have a life of her own. Pretty darned poignant way of telling your mom you love her.
But then, whoever said mom-ism was easy? Whoever said that bringing up a kid or two was all flowers and cards and candy? It’s not. Of course it’s not.
Shifting the tone a bit, I ran across Anne Lamont’s Some Assembly Required. Anne Lamont, infamous for her book on writing, Bird by Bird. I’ve not read Some Assembly but it sounds a tad more upbeat than Doris Lessing’s book. And a TON happier than Blue October’s tribute to his mom.
Skip over a WHOLE BUNCH of titles and authors and I came to a classic. It’s the perfect of perfect mom stories. And especially for this day, this time, right now. It’s a story about a cranky boy who misbehaves so badly that he gets sent to bed. Without his supper. But even at the very end . . . even after he’s been everywhere and done everything imaginable. Even after all that, his mom brings him supper. She leaves it on the nightstand where it’s stays nice and hot.
Where the Wild Things Are is more than a story about a little boy. It’s a story about a mom and her love for her son, regardless of how much wild ruckus he’s capable of pulling off. As far as mom stories go, Where the Wild Things Are is unequaled. I mean . . . Mom doesn’t even have to be in the story to show her love for Max! And how great is that?
So that was my book hunt. With some side trips into hither and yon. I’m sure there are boatloads of other great mom-ism books out there just waiting to be found. Maybe you have a few. One’s you’ve read. One’s you’ve written. Maybe you’ll feel up to adding them to my list here.
And . . . lest I should forget . . .