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.

Thursday, October 18, 2007



My mother came for a weekend visit and toted along a giant box of slides from my childhood. We stayed up late last night here and flashed across the early history of our family. We’re a group long since splintered by divorce and four children’s mostly disastrous efforts to separate for 25 years from their downtrodden and bitter parents.

I expected to be sad to see pictures of my older brother, who drifted so far away on drugs and a marginal existence. Seeing him holding me when I was a baby, feeding me -- stabbed at me where I’ve given up on him.

On 1970 Kodachrome, I was madly in worship of him. He was my golden-haired hero when I was two years old. In most pictures, I’m leaning toward him, pleading for him to look at me while he was mugging for the camera. I can’t not love someone I loved that purely. I can only deny it when they become someone not to let near my children.

But a welcome heartbreak came with the pictures of my mother holding me as a beefy baby. She looked so hopeful and innocent, and so in love with me. I spent so much money in therapy recovering from my depressed mother. But to look at her at 30, black haired and laughing at the beach, opened my eyes. She was 10 years younger than I am now, with four small children. She was happy. That melted another unspoken layer of ice in my heart.

We forget the angels in the nursery, and only remember the demons, I was told recently. The power of seeing my young mother in a beehive and movie star sunglasses (I could go on for days about the gorgeous 1960s Pucci fabric alone!) somehow returned her to me, as a mother I could relate to: overwhelmed and stylishly hip.

Maybe it’s all like backdating. We call something only a bit valuable so that we can retroactively make it a treasure. We need to be humbled by life just enough to let us look over a shoulder at the people we judged so savagely, the folks we came from. Now we can see the angels they always were, waiting to be cherished with a wiser eye.

By Avvy Mar


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a great story avvy, and, oh, how true. a book in itself, no?
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