Norma Logan is the Literacy Coordinator at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read the published version of Norma’s column in the May 10, 2013 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.
Mother’s Day is right around the corner with the promise of flowers, warm sunny days and the time to reflect on the state of being that the holiday celebrates. In reality, motherhood is a rollercoaster ride of joy, fear, hope, anticipation, energy and weariness. American society and culture have changed over the years, and life has, in many ways, become more complicated. However, the basic emotional ties of mothers to their sons and daughters, I believe, are ageless.
Since my daughter became a mother four years ago, I have watched her and my grandson, remembering some things and not remembering others. I have been careful about giving her advice except, as always the educator, to tell her that it is never too early to read to him. I look for books that I can recommend to her from the professionals, much like I gravitated to the Dr. Spock books in the 70’s.
This adventure took me on a different course than I would have suspected. At the same time I had been doing some genealogical research that led me to learn more about mothers of our founding fathers, and I saw a very interesting connection between famous men and their relationships with their mothers.
The Raising of a President by Doug Wead begins with Abraham Lincoln’s quote, “God bless my mother, all I am or ever hope to be I owe to her” and continues into chapters about the Roosevelts, the Kennedys and the Bushes. George H. W. Bush is quoted as saying, “Dad taught us about duty and service. Mother taught us about dealing with life”.
Especially poignant and interesting is Cokie Roberts’, popular Founding Mothers. Her introduction states that her interest in historical women was born of family stories and genealogical knowledge, as well. She writes of mothers who raised our nation like Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, and Deborah Road Franklin and their influence on future generations.
First Mothers: The Women Who Shaped the Presidents by Bonie Angelo, tells the stories of Sara Roosevelt, Martha Truman, Ida Eisenhower, Rose Kennedy, Hannah Nixon, Dorothy Ford, Lillian Carter, Virginia Clinton, Nelle Reagan, and Dorothy Bush.
Apart from historical mothers, a new book, What a Difference a Mom Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Mom Leaves on her Son’s Life by Dr. Kevin Leman, is a no nonsense advice book about raising boys to be men in a contemporary world.
Whether you are a new mom, a seasoned mother with older children looking for advice, or even a history buff, you can find lots of Mom books at the library. Interestingly, they all echo the importance that a mother’s life and influence has on her son. As a famous artist once said about his mother, “When I was a child, my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk you’ll end up as the pope.’ Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”
Happy Mother’s Day!