I’m going to frame the Mother’s Day card that Noelle left for me to find after she was gone last week. I must admit to getting a bit teary, for it showed her support for the journey we are about to take and that was very important to me. And when she called to “check in” after her long drive home, she also let on that she had stopped at the discount store on the way and purchased a pair of Ugg boots to wear when she visits in Minnesota.
Motherhood is such a complex job and I know within my heart that I could have been a brilliant mother, if only I had started at a reasonable age. Grandmothers I’m sure, make the very best mothers. That’s probably why we especially revere them.
I know I could be a shining example today, but barely eighteen is not the best place to start. But however it may have played out, I did my best at the time and I know I gave my children an appreciation for literature unparalleled and I took them to theatre and musical events and tried to give them a sense of wonder and magic in the world. I feel good about all that. And the fact that I was also trying to grow up and find my own way in the world was just the way it had to be.
Harriet, my mother, who was widowed at such a young age, was a paragon of courage – an example of what it takes to put one foot in front of the other and tackle whatever needs to be done. To “take in” boarders and clean houses and babysit until she got her California teaching credential, and to always maintain her sense of delight and spirit of adventure throughout the process. My cousin Maryanne wrote about our Lady Astor – “She was so much fun and always game for something to do. I was always amazed at the big hoop earrings and, of course the stylish Capri pants she wore so well!” I don’t have a picture of the capris right at hand – I’m sure they’re already packed away – but I did dig up some glamorous shots from a later time.
And as my Mother’s Day treat to myself, I’m posting my favorite picture of Kevin and Noelle.