Thoughtful Thursday: Mother

May 30, 2013

Thoughtful ThursdaySince this is the first and only TT of May (yeah, uh, sorry), we’ll combine May and June Intelligentsias.

A few weeks ago I had the tremendous pleasure of seeing Lori, radiant and eloquent, deliver a speech at the Listen to Your Mother show. As good at she is at writing, she is even better on stage. Some of the speakers, like Lori, talked about their experiences as mothers. Other speakers talked about experiences as children. Several of those started their speeches with a one- or two-sentence synopsis of their mother. Which, as I sat in the audience, got my own gears turning about how I’d describe my mother.

Once I met someone who described her mother in a single word: “My mother is… magical.” I’ve known several people who needed only a single sound: “My mother… (sigh).” I asked my husband to sum up his mother, and he flat out refused, which tells you all that you need to know.

My mother was tremendously generous, the most extroverted person I’ve ever known, bizarrely secretive, worldly yet preferred to stick to a few places she knew well, an easy person to like but sometimes a hard person to love. She was a product of three cultures but never fully belonged to any of them. No matter what you might need, she probably had it in her purse.

How would you sum up your mother?


10 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Mother”

  1. St. Elsewhere Says:

    I am glad you got to meet her. And hear her.

    My mother?

    Fiery.Independent. Loving. Mysterious. Open. Nature-Loving. Generous. Protective. Tigress. Inquisitive. Analytical. Dreamer. Opinionated.

  2. Sara Says:

    Sum up in one word? “Mom”. I moved out at 17 and 6 years later moved an ocean away, but last Christmas when I got lost driving to my cousin’s place and my daughter threw up while in the back seat (so I couldn’t see, and I wasn’t sure I heard, and I couldn’t smell since it was freshly eaten mostly undigested eggs, so I didn’t know for sure until I finally arrived that I’d been driving around with her covered in vomit), dad opened the door, I said “go get mom”, and when she arrived I sent her out to the car to deal with things while I went to the bathroom and cried (NOT my finest moment as a mom.)

    More than one word? Determined, active, busy, curious, game, interested, supportive, patient…

    My relationship with my mom? Lucky. I am very lucky to have a mom like her.

  3. a Says:

    My mother was…complex. She was brash and obnoxious, but generous and fun. She complained non-stop but stood behind you whenever you needed her support. She was a spoiled brat and the life of the party. I miss her.

  4. strongblonde Says:

    funny thing about the purse: my mom has been known to carry a 7 inch chef’s knife in her purse. in case she needed to chop something?

    i’m going to feel like an ass, but: my mother is/was detached, sad, guarded, removed. She was also a great cook (she doesn’t cook much now). I’m sure that my middle sister would have a much more positive opinion of her. For most of my life I thought of her as absent….even though she didn’t work until I was in high school. She was just emotionally absent. At least for me.

    For fun I asked B to describe both of our mothers. For his he said “manipulative caring”. For mine he said “reserved engagement”.


  5. Elana Kahn Says:

    My mother is unique, but aren’t we all? She is loving, flexible, and caring. She works hard, but enjoys relaxation as well. She’s strong, but is really made of whipped cream on the inside. šŸ™‚

  6. babysmiling Says:

    @strongblonde: My mother usually had a paring knife in her purse, wrapped up in a wad of paper towels for “safety.” She never came close to cutting herself but I was always petrified to reach into her purse, and not just because of the knife — who knows what I’d find in there. I think it was more a weird form of defense than for cooking, though she definitely used it to open things or chop food plenty of times.

  7. I shared in the tremendous pleasure, knowing you were in the audience and then seeing you afterwards. Thank you for coming to support me!

    Your mother sounds like someone I would have liked.

    My mother is…generous, witty, grounded, wise, loving. I am blessed to be her daughter.

  8. Shelby Says:

    Wow. That’s a toughy and it certainly can’t be done in one word (or much less likely, a sound). My Mom was independent, set in her ways and ‘my way or the highway’ headstrong. It’s opposite for me-because of that, she was a hard one to like, but an easy one to love. She was generous to a fault and had a huge heart. When she loved (and she didn’t give away affection freely-only to those closest to her), she did so with all of herself. My husband summed her up beautifully. You could be yourself–exactly as you are and it was always enough. She never once put on airs or cared for showing off or one-upping. She was real. She was who she was without apologies.

  9. Elizabeth Says:

    One word: Feisty.

    I admire her so much, despite how clearly I can see her flaws. She and I are very different in personality but similar in the things that give us pleasure (reading, making beautiful things, a little bit of chocolate in the middle of the afternoon).

  10. Lynn Says:

    My mother is a very loving person, sometimes too loving. She is over-protective of those she loves, often driving us away because of her overprotectiveness. She is domineering because she feels she knows more than her children do because she has lived longer, despite the fact all of us have had experiences she never had. She is a kind-hearted individual who would give her last dollar to help someone out but she wants to be able to advise them what to do with that last dollar. All in all, she has a great heart, but sometimes lets bossiness get in the way of it.

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