Award Winning Fantasy with a Twist!

The Maternal Instinct

A Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms and mother figures out there!

They say the worst thing a man can tell his wife is “You’re just like your mother!” Why is that when we all feel strongly about our mothers? As grown women, we want to be our own person, but that means breaking away from our closest role model and the person whose approval and affection we seek 1st in life. It’s a complicated dynamic and it’s been a fun one to explore!

In Feeling Lucky, Megan O’Malley is surprised to find a leprechaun camped on her couch, plotting to get his money back, but that’s nothing compared to the surprises she uncovers about her mother and ultimately about herself.

My mother laughed at me around her headrest. “C’mon Megan,” she said. “Let’s go play.”

I had to laugh at that. I’d also heard that comment a lot while growing up. Mom was a firm believer in the distraction school of parenting. Probably one reason I am, quite frankly, a bit unfocused as an adult.

I frowned at that. I had never really thought about it before, but I’d heard often enough that I was silly or juvenile. I wasn’t blaming my mother exactly, but for a moment I wonder if she wasn’t somehow responsible. Or maybe not my mother exactly, just her general come-what-may attitude. Maybe I hadn’t learned the best coping strategies growing up. After all, what did fairies have to cope with? 

Marilee Harper doesn’t have a close relationship with her mother like Megan, but in Restless Spirits, Mrs. Harper movies in to ‘help’ renovate a B&B anyway. Sometimes it’s hard for Moms to let go and grow up too!

 “Marilee, don’t be bossy,” Mom simpered. “You just tell us what you want, dear.” This last was directed to John who managed not to laugh as he bowed Mom down the stairs. 

I did roll my eyes as I passed, but I put out a hand to hold him back as Mom went on ahead.

Standing a step below me, John stood at eye level, his warm brown eyes twinkling with every easy smile. I winced inwardly, thinking of what I needed to say. 

“My mom is, um, well, she . . .” I took a deep breath. “She thinks she’s being helpful.” I couldn’t look at him as I said this. I’d been embarrassed by my mother before, but this had to make my top ten list.

John placed a warm hand on my shoulder. I gaped at him, startled, and he grinned. “She did mention that she could help when I was hunting for your phone number. Several times.”

Now, I’m not a mom and I work really hard not to act like one. It’s not good for my students if I solve too many of their problems for them. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to write Carla Higgins’ story in Fighting Mad, but not only do I work around teenagers, I once was one. Sometimes Moms have to put up with a lot as well!

“What am I supposed to do at the Farmers’ Market?” I asked, but I wasn’t really listening any more. I could feel tears welling up inside, but they were happy tears. I was so proud of my girls. When we had a problem, they just jumped right in and pulled together. Tentatively, I started, “You guys are just so…

“Oh man!” Lauren yelped. “She’s going to cry again. Ashley, do something.”

Ashley giggled. “Look out, she’s gonna blow!”

Lauren grinned at that, but her reprimand was still uncompromising. “Mom, you have to get your product line together!” Ashley echoed her sister’s firm nod.

“Okay, okay!” I pulled my stack of papers closer to me, almost defensively. “Excuse me for having a moment.”

Take a moment and give your mother or mother figure a shout-out below! And please note, Mom, I didn’t include your picture as requested!

originally published on smpauthors.wordpress.com 5/9/15

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