Monday, May 10, 2010

Thoughts on Mother’s Day

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.
~Alice Walker

Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime.
~William Shakespeare

A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.
~Victor Hugo

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
~Mark Twain

What women have inspired you in creativity and life?

3 comments:

Patricia Stoltey said...

Nice post, Jenny. My mom turned 91 yesterday, and she's still as much fun to talk to as she was when I was a kid. I hope I can hold on to her strength, her spirit, and her sense of humor as long as I'm around.

Jenny S. said...

Pat, I bet you two are a hoot at family reunions! I wish her many happy returns.

Linda L. Henk said...

It took me a few years (like 60!) to see how much support my own mother gave me with my writing and other forms of creativity. I had a college instructor, Bonnie Titley, that pushed me hard in argumentative writing. I credit her for showing me how to dig deeper.

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