Thinking back on books about mothers, my favorite was Ruth Reichl’s Not Becoming My Mother. The title evokes a prayer most daughters silently breathe when younger, and then realize when older.
Here is an excerpt from my 2010 post:
“In her usual humorous style, Reichl begins with a hilarious tale of how “Mim” creating a last-minute snack for her Brownie troop that somehow did not poison the girls. Her mother was not the cook in the family.
She quickly segways into a serious analysis of her mother’s life. Understandably, she dared not attempt to write about her while her mother was alive; who would? A box of letters conveniently chronicling relationships, disappointments, and missed opportunities becomes the basis for getting to know her mother. Predictably, her mother is not the person she thought she knew. Like all mothers, she had a life before becoming a mother, and Reichl convincingly attacks the nuances of her mother’s ups and downs with compassion and a gratitude for lessons learned.
Reading this short book can’t help but make you wonder what you don’t know about your own mother, or, if you are a mother, what your children got wrong about you.”
The Philadelphia Flower Show was always the ultimate experience for gardeners on the East Coast, but I never went to the show until after I no longer lived in the city. This year, Philadelphia showcased Hawaii – Philadelphia Flower Show Offers Palm Trees and White Sand. Spring doesn’t really come to Hawaii, but a flower show appears in Hawaii every three years; this year it’s on Mother’s Day, and I decided to not miss it.
Spring flowers in Hawaii…seems an appropriate topic for Mother’s Day…
Mothers are underrated and overworked, and usually not appreciated until much later – after their children have children of their own – or after they are dead. I remember a local tradition on Mother’s Day that I always looked forward to – buy a carnation to celebrate your mother: white if she were dead, pink if alive.
And the classic Mother’s Day book to re-read aloud today…
Happy Mother’s Day. Chances are that if you are reading this, you have/had a mother. Being one myself, I’m grateful to have the excuse for “every token of gratitude” (Kristof in “Celebrate: Save a Mother,” today’s NY Times) sent my way.
Books about, for, to mothers are prolific. The newest by Dave Isay, with NPR, might be worth a look – titled, Mom. I saw Isay interviewed on the Colbert Report – bet his mother was proud.