The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007



My mother just returned to her home in Durango, Colorado, after spending five days with us. Though I wish she lived closer and could visit more often, I appreciate the grandmother she’s become to my daughter, her only grandchild.

While she was here, without my asking her to, she bathed Phoebe, tucked her in bed and read her stories. She helped her get dressed and brushed her hair. And she played endless games of Candy Land with her, exhibiting patience I can rarely summon for my daughter’s penchant for making up new rules as she goes along.

I wasn’t always sure my mom was up to the task of being a grandma. When Phoebe was born five years ago, we lived a mile apart from each other in San Diego, the city where I grew up. As a new grandmother, she would make Phoebe the center of her universe, I’d assumed. And naturally she’d be at my beck and call for regular babysitting gigs.

My mother, though eager to be a grandma, had other ideas. Like selling her condo and moving to Durango barely a month after Phoebe’s birth.

I handled the news like any mature woman would. I sulked. I pouted. I vowed never to take Phoebe to Durango to visit her.

Deliberately abandoning us hadn’t been my mother’s intent, of course. But it felt that way at the time, perhaps partly due to my unrelenting sleep deprivation and out of whack hormones.

The truth is, my mom had already been spending summers and falls in the home she’d purchased in her beloved Durango a couple of years earlier. She’d even talked about moving there permanently one day. When her neighbors razed the cottage next door to build a McMansion that loomed intrusively over her condo, she decided that day had come.

With time and more sleep, my perspective became less warped and my resentment toward my mom gradually faded. I realized she was entitled to live where and how she wants. Like most mothers, she’s spent years putting the needs of her children ahead of her own. She raised four kids, including a bi-polar son for whom she continues to be the primary source of emotional and financial support with an attitude that I find amazing. Her independence, active lifestyle and continuing quest to learn well into her ‘70s are traits I admire and try to emulate — hopefully Phoebe will, too.

Yes, it would be nice if my mom lived closer to us. But I’ve discovered that the miles between us can’t severe the bond she has with her granddaughter.

Or with her daughter.

By Dorothy O’Donnell


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Lovely sentiment. Your compassion for your mom and her needs made me smile. Nicely done. Laura-Lynne Powell
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