Did your mother ever do anything “un-motherly”?

I was asked last night, “Did your mother ever do anything “un-motherly”?  (Is that even a word?)

I thought about it for a long time.  My answer was, “No, not that I can think of.”  It made me really pause and be grateful, again, for the family that I was born into – West Michigan, small town, upper-middle class, two educated parents, and a large loving extended family.  I returned the same question to Bruce.  He said, “No, my mom was a saint.”  I raised my eyebrows.  No one is a saint.

I couldn’t help but think back about my childhood.  My mom was a stay at home mother for most of my life.  She was busy in the community.  I can remember her book group, reading Mao Tse Tung’s Little Red Book.  I think/I know my mom was a feminist.  At least the West Michigan’s version of a feminist.  She might debate this idea. Her friends were all educated women – some worked outside of the home and others did not.  They all were active community citizens.  In the mid 1980’s, my mom was interviewed by the Grand Haven Tribune regarding her role in Swart and Associates.  Her beauty was always something noted.  In the article, she talked about the firm’s architectural designs and her daughter’s career choices.  Clearly, she is and was proud of us.  I have a sister who is a chemical engineer and another who is a speech pathologist.  Her efforts helped create today’s world where I had the choice to be a stay at home mom, have children or not, and choose to have a career.  (Actually, I have had the luxury of having several careers.).

As, I think of Mother’s Day, this weekend, I think of my grandmothers and my daughters/daughter-in-laws.  I think of the choices that they make with regard to family and careers with the good fortune of having choices.  Thank you, mom, for your efforts, in our family and in our small part of the world.

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