Post by Jenny Sundstedt
Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I’d like to say thanks to my mom. I can’t completely credit her for my desire to be a writer—I’m pretty sure I would have had that in me, regardless. But I can, and do, give her a tremendous amount of credit for never stomping on my dream. As an elementary and junior high school teacher, my mom encouraged hundreds of kids to read, write, and think creatively. But nobody benefited from it more than her two daughters.
A true lover of story, my mother slogged her way through my early manuscripts—the unpublishable messes I now refer to as ‘learning experiences’—without complaint. Abidingly positive, she can always find something good to say about what I’ve written. And even if I don’t necessarily agree with her more critical assessments, they never fail to give me food for thought. Most importantly, she continues to stick with me through all my growing pains as a writer—which have lasted considerably longer than even the angst-filled teenage years.
My mother will turn seventy-five in September. I hope that when I’m her age, I have her creative energy and enthusiasm for writing. I hope I can still dream big, as she does. (Though I will no doubt also share her inability to master any and all technological advances.) And, boy, do I hope I’ve published a novel by then.
To my sons…thanks for making me a mom. I’ll do my very best to support you in your creative endeavors—as long as they don’t involve extreme tattoos or piercings, man-eating reptiles, speeds of greater than 75 miles per hour, clown college, changing your names to numbers, or throwing anything sharper than a Frisbee. And worms. You know how I feel about worms.
Finally, a few thoughts on mothers from some of the writers who have said it best:
And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see -- or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.
Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime.
A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
What women have inspired you in creativity and life?