Anyone who knows me well enough by now understands that I have a natural aversion to Hallmark card holidays (see February 14 post), but in the world of blogging and writing, anything, even a Hallmark Card holiday, is a prompt. And so I give you three short things here, because these are the things I’m thinking about today.
I begin with something that is sweet and wonderful, a picture of my mother circa 195o. In her eyes I see the mystery of my eldest and the power of my youngest. In her smile I see my brother and my sister. In her face I see myself.
The other thing I’m thinking of this morning is of course the other moms who are a part of my life — my sister, my friends, my grandmothers, their mothers. Mush or not, this is a day to celebrate women who are special. But since I’ve already gushed in that way here, today I give you one woman in particular, whose story is remarkable and whose resolve is an example for us all. I’ve known Libby since I was a kid. She is an educator and writer, and all the while she’s been a mom trying to support a son who’s an addict. She tells her story in her book, Stay Close, and she’s presently engaged in the next step of her project which involves building an online community to connect people, to give a voice to addicts and their supporters, to reach out and show others how to reach out. I’ll post her website here when it’s live.
It’s worth mentioning one of my favorite kids’ books on this day. Everyone always points to the Robert Munsch book, LOVE YOU FOREVER, as the quintessential book about a mother’s love (and indeed it is: one of my closest friends, the one who gave me my copy when my first daughter was born, sobs over it each time she reads it; and even my tough five-year-old can’t get through it without a tear). But there is another book worth mentioning here, a book as overlooked as it is marvelous: Maurice Sendak‘s Mommy? Our copy was given us by my mother many years back, and remains an all-time favorite in this family. Never mind that critics have called Sendak too harsh for creating such scary creatures; I’m with him when it comes to letting your kids explore their own imaginations. And under that gruff exterior, as exhibited in the brief interview in which Maurice Sendak tells parents to go to hell, Sendak’s books challenge kids. Those are my kind of children’s books. Bring on Sendak, bring on the (unedited, scary) Brothers Grimm!