Quotations on Mothering and Grandmothering
page IX

The appealing sweetness given the the baby of the species, whether human, monkey or kangaroo, is nature's guileful way of enslaving the mother. Most mothers...although remaining aware of "the sentence of motherhood," manage to concentrate on the rewards. These range from the sheer fun of a gurgling, rolling, squeaking plaything in the home, to the passionate intensity of the love which many mothers feel for their babies.

Rachel Billington, from The Great Umbilical


My daughter is every mother's child and every mother is the mother of my child.

Glen Close, National Press Club Luncheon 3/12/03


Let me see my daughter like my mother could never see me. Let her see me too.

Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood


Her grief was so intense -- it seemed it could have harmed her, could have caused a heart attack. Her husband described it as a broken heart," said Cheryl Hamilton, manager of respiratory care services at University Medical Center, where Unruh-Wahrer worked as a respiratory therapist.[..] Robert Unruh will be buried Friday at the Southern Arizona Veterans' Memorial Cemetery. His mother's body will accompany her son's in the procession to the cemetery.

Mother of soldier killed in Iraq collapses, dies, CNN.com (10/5/2004)


As a young mother I thought that if I gave my girls lots of love and attention, a good home and education, and a wealth of cultural experiences, they would be trouble free. But there is no guarantee of what kids will pattern their lives after. There is only one certainty in the mother--daughter relationship: No matter how hard you try, mother will make mistakes and daughter will, too, but the mistakes daughter makes will probably be "all mother's fault.

Faith Ringgold from "My Daughters and Me"


In the summer my mother got up just after sunrise, so that when she called Matthew and me for breakfast, the house was filled with sounds and smells of her industrious mornings. Odors of frying scrapple or codfish cakes drifted up the back stairs, mingling sometimes with the sharp scent of mustard greens she was cooking for dinner that night. Up the laundry chute from the cellar floated whiffs of steamy air and the churning sound of the washing machine. From the dining room, where she liked to sit ironing and chatting on the telephone, came the fragrance of hot clean clothes and the sound of her voice: cheerful, resonant, reverberating a little weirdly through the high ceilinged rooms, as if she were sitting happily at the bottom of a well.

Andrea Lee in "Mother"


My mother and I, as we had done many times before, walked quietly up the Barbers' driveway and through the backyard to the swing in the oak tree. Mama stopped to pick a few tomatoes from the overloaded plants in the Barbers' vegetable garden, and I helped her, though my second tomato was a rotten one that squashed in my fingers.
   It was completely dark by then. Lightning bugs flashed their cold green semaphores across the backyards of the neighborhood, and a near-tropical din of rasping, creaking, buzzing night insects had broken out in the trees around us. I walked over and sat down in the oak-tree swing, and Mama, pausing occasionally to slap at mosquitoes, gave me a few good pushes, so that I flew high out of the leaves, toward the night sky.
   I couldn't see her, but I felt her hands against my back; that was enough. There are moments when the sympathy between mother and child becomes again almost what it was at the very first. At that instant I could discern in my mother, as clearly as if she had told me of it, the same almost romantic agitation that I felt. It was an excitement rooted in her fascination with grotesque anecdotes, but it went beyond that. While my mother pushed me in the swing, it seemed as we were conducting, without words, a troubling yet oddly exhilarating dialogue about pain and loss

Andrea Lee in "Mother"


I was a rather lazy and dunderheaded apprentice to my mother. She could be snappish and tyrannical, but I hung around the kitchen anyway, in quest of scrapings of batter, and because I liked to listen to her. She loved words, not as my father the minister did, for their ceremonial qualities, but with an off-handed playfulness that resulted in a combination of wit and nonsense. In her mischelevous brain, the broad country imagery of her Virginia-bred mother mingled with the remains of a lady-like education that had classical pretensions. When she was annoyed at Matthew and me, we were "pestilential Pestalozzis"; we were also, from time to time, as deaf as adders, as dumb as oysters, as woolly as sheep's backs; we occasionally thrashed around like horses with the colic. At odd moments she addressed recitation to the family cat, whom she disliked; her favorite selections were versions of "O Captain! My Captain!" ("O Cat! My Cat! Our fearful trip is done . . .") and Cicero's address to Catiline ("How long, Cat, will you abuse our patience? . . .").

Andrea Lee from "Mother"


I read in a science journal that when a woman is pregnant, descendants of the fetusís cells escape into her bloodstream and continue to exist there for decades after she gives birth to a child. Researchers have found male DNA in the blood samples of mothers 27 years after the birth of their baby boys.

Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? A Parentís Guide to Raising Multiracial Children by Donna Jackson Nakazawa



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