I don’t know about you, but when I was a teen, I didn’t appreciate my mother very much. Sure, I loved her, but we butted heads a lot. Mostly because I was spoiled, stubborn, and selfish, but also because teen age years are when we want to break off and become our own person. It’s the stage between being a kid who idolizes her parents and being an adult who realizes how tough it is to be a parent. Depending on the relationship and the personalities involved, this can be a really tough transition.
Then, just when you think you’re done with the stages of child-parent relationships, you enter a new one. The time when your parent is getting older and they need to rely on you much like you used to rely on them. It’s as if the relationship flips. But you can’t treat your mom like a child, because (1) she’s an adult and (2) she’s still your mom. Another tough transition: learning how to care for someone but allowing them make their own decisions even when it causes you to worry. Ironically, this is probably exactly how a mother parenting a teenager feels. (I’m not quite there yet…)
So why all these thoughts on moms and life stages?
I’m blogging today for my good friend Loraine Kemp because her mother fell and injured herself recently. I went through something similar with my own mother three years ago when my mom fell and broke her hip. Loraine’s mom is ten years older than my mom, but both ladies have reached what I would call “a very respectable age.” I don’t know Loraine’s mom, but I love this picture of the two of them. Doesn’t she look like a hoot? 😀
I was thinking about moms in fiction and two stories jumped out to me. One I read quite a while ago, White Oleander by Janet Fitch (this was before I swore off any of Oprah’s recommended reads). White Oleander is about a really messed up mother whose poor decisions toss her child into the foster care system. The story is devastating to read, and while it ends on a semi-positive note, I can only imagine how much better a Christian version of this title laced with a hope would have been.
The second is Glass Girl by Laura Anderson Kurk who we interviewed on the blog before. In this story, the mother deals with severe depression after the death of one of her children. Having a mother dealing with her own issues leaves the surviving child floating out on her own. Sometimes the parent-child relationship switches before a mother gets to a respectable age, forcing a child to grow up or find solace elsewhere.
So what about you? Evil step-mothers aside, how are moms portrayed in fiction? What memorable mother-daughter relationships have left you either loving or hating a fiction mom?
And if you have a moment, please say a prayer for Loraine’s mother and a speedy recovery.