Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and those who serve as mothers with dedication, grace, and unconditional love in myriad ways every day of the year.
I’ve come to realize over the past few years that, in one way or another, the theme of mother/child relationships appears in much of my writing. It could be because of my own close relationship with my powerhouse mother, who has always believed in my dreams and given me the gift of unconditional love. Conversely, it is also because I’ve witnessed wrenching family dynamics revolving around unhealthy mother/child relationships at various points in my life, which I understand a bit better now that I am a mother myself.
Motherhood is a nuanced, complex, joyous, at times frustrating, experience fraught with love and loss and survival. Six years ago, my son burst into this world and has challenged me every day to be a braver, happier, more patient person. I’ve learned to let him run ahead of me but have learned to trust he’ll stop at the agreed upon tree at the end of the sidewalk. I’ve prepared countless meals (roasted “wishbone” chicken is his favorite, with a leg, a wing, and a side of extra crispy skin), packed hundreds of lunches (salmon cakes and couscous in the thermos is his favorite) nursed everything from bloody knee scrapes after he’s fallen off his bike, to a broken leg after sledding (including bed pan duty) to stomach bugs at 3 am (and the day-after-full-bedding laundry), attended tons of school events (including donating an enormous cucumber salad which he helped me dress for his school’s Spring Fling), read countless books and taught him sight words, laughed, cried, danced with and tickled him, and showered his cheeks with kisses every day of his six years on this planet.
I do my best, and his healthy, compassionate, energetic, humorous, and wry little self proves to me that I am doing at least something right. Not that I don’t have my moments (we all do), but I’m doing the best I can with who I am and what I have to be the best mom I can be to him. Taking things one day and one year at a time has been the best way to approach this motherhood journey, which I know will see him growing up and out of his childhood years sooner than I want to imagine. And to my fellow mothers and mother figures, we’re in this together and I send you much love and inspiration for mother’s day and always!
Three years ago, I gave birth, in a sense, to my feminist legal thriller, The Boulevard Trial, which has gained 5-star acclaim as, “NYC storytelling at its finest,” but also for containing, “Vivid Descriptions of Women’s Varied Experiences.” In the novel, I’ve written about mothers and daughters, on the one hand celebrating the power of a mother’s love, as illustrated in Helena’s reliance on the memory of her mother (Mami)’s comforting voice as she tackles the bullying, conservative prosecutor, Alexandra Kirschbaum, and to a certain extent, through the defendant Francesca’s loving memories of her dead mother. On the other hand, I examine the devastating, and sometimes lethal, effects an abusive mother’s words and behavior have on a child’s self esteem and identity, as illustrated in Alexandra’s painful relationship with her German mother, Nellie Kirschbaum Wright in the post-WWII era, which, in many ways, led her to become the ruthless prosecutor of women she was for over thirty years. The overarching theme in the novel posits that we can endure any challenge this wretched world throws at us, if we have unconditional love, and if we demonstrate feminist solidarity on a daily basis. I hope you’ll consider giving the reader in your life a paperback copy of my novel (also available in Kindle format) for Mother’s Day.
Again, to all the mothers, and those who serve as mothers, out there, I wish you a very peaceful and gracious Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day to my Mamita!