Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I finished "Every Mother is a Daughter"

I am not trying to copy Leila* here (no worries Leila, I couldn't hold a candle!) but I figured instead of spending all my time being sarcastic, I will add a little something about things I have read etc... You know, so you all think I have some semblance of intelligence!

I finished listening to Every Mother is a Daughter , (yes, I do listen to books around the house or in my is NOT a cop is a busy moms way of staying involved in says I! But in my defense, I still read some too, it just takes a long time.)

I would love to have something sarcastic to say about this book, but I don't. Being 35 and lucky enough to have a 92 year old grandmother to take care of, also being lucky enough to have a mom, (who would kick my butt if I said how old she is on here,) and the great fortune of having two lovely daughters, I devoured this book whole heartedly. Not always identifying with one character over another, but with little bits of both of them as they wove their way through writing this book.

It lead me to wonder about what my mother would write about me, of who I am. Or what we would have to write about if we were to write a book together. It made me look at my daughter and realize that she is going to grow up and at some point have to take care of me, and what would she say about that? What would be her memories of my strengths and weaknesses be? What observations would she make about my life, that I would have never seen as having impact?

Perri Klass, and Sheila Solomon Klass, the mother and daughter that wrote this book are both, obviously, writers, and both have lived extraordinary lives, of travel, adventure, and humor. Lives truly rich in academia, which led me to realize the opulence of my own childhood. Not in monetary wealth, but a life that was steeped in educational pursuits, travel and the desire of my parents to open my eyes and take in the world around me and all that it has to offer.

So no snark here today, if you are a mom, or a daughter, it is worth a read. Take a minute like I did, to laugh at the idiosyncrasies of people, the dysfunction of all our families, and swell with the emotion of it all. In the end, those links and bonds that we build with our families and pass on to the following generations, are our mark on this world. They are our legacy, and they are precious.

* Leila is a friend I work with at the library, who is Uber smart, (to use one of her words,) reads like, 400 books a day, and then writes an incredible blog about them. In comparison on the book front, I am the kid in the back row stretching my bubble gum out to see how far it will go and getting it stuck all over my fingers... But she never makes me feel that way, so I love her anyway!]

1 comment:

PIE said...

I wanted to post to your blog, but I didn't want to sign up for my own, so here it is ....

Of course I had to respond to this post. I haven't quite finished the book yet because I am reading two books right now and listening to one on cd in the car, but I did find myself in both the mother's voice and the daughter's voice.

Since I have two daughters, a mother, and three granddaughters I consider myself uncommonly privileged. We are all still learning to care for one another. We have always cared about one another, but that doesn't always guarantee perfect results.

My daughters' parenting skills are far more complex than mine were. I simply thought if I loved unconditionally, disciplined when necessary, and allowed the space for exploration and risk, my children would be loving, self-disciplined and aware of the vast world around them. This is not to say that "complex" parenting is bad ... just different. And I have very intelligent, fun, healthy grandchildren to prove their way is successful.

I know "my way" worked because of the exceptional way my daughters care for my mother (their grandmother). I also know they are relentlessly curious, imaginative, and desirous of learning more about themselves, others and the world around them. So, in spite of all the weird hang-ups they may attribute to their upbringing, they turned out wonderfully well.

Love you lots, MOM