Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mothers & Daughters

In my newest short story (Skincare), Chrissie Sorensen finds a way to rebel against her mother, but ultimately her choice is more self-destructive than vengeful.
I've long recognized that an inordinate amount of my fiction writing is devoted to mother-daughter relationships. I'm also aware that, duh, this is because of my relationship with my mother.
Yeah, yeah, yawn. Here we go with another Mommy Dearest tale.
From my mother, I learned to make a decent bechamel sauce. I did not learn how to fix my hair, put on make-up, drive a car, or act like a mature adult. These were not things that she herself could do, ergo, she could not teach them to me.
Granted, I was a difficult child, and I remember more than once her shrieking at me, "I hope you have a daughter just like you someday."
I have three daughters. They are now all over 21. Raising them has been the joy of my life and, today as I look at these beautiful and accomplished women, I'm amazed that they were once the tiny girls I tucked into bed, read stories to, and whose boo-boos I could heal with a kiss. I really can't take credit for who they've become because try as I might, I have not always been up to the task of being "Mother." As they grew older, I lost the ability to give them answers, fix problems, or be a role model of perfect behavior and good decision making. I screw up. I do and say stupid things and continually expose myself to them as a deeply flawed human being. For that, I quite sincerely and publicly apologize. Being a better mother still ranks right up there with all the other things I wish I could give my girls.
Oscar Wilde once said something like: "Children often love their parents, but they rarely forgive them." Such is life. I can only hope that maybe through my stories, the girls and I and anyone else who reads them might take a step closer to understanding the webbed and intricate complexities of mothers and daughters.

1 comment:

2KoP said...

I think the fact that you can apologize puts you up in the top 10% of practicing moms. I look forward to reading your mother/daughter sagas.