The Power of Mothers

Mothers-day

Mothers are powerful. Through them, children learn life lessons like self worth, empowerment, or sometimes…the opposite.

A mother’s feelings about her body or sexuality are often passed down and reflected in her children, particularly, daughters. A mother who diets a lot and speaks negatively about her body and weight sends the message that beauty is contingent on a very specific body image, often one that’s almost impossible to live up to.

The other day, it was driven home to me just how impressionable children are and how important a mother’s role is. A fellow author friend was lamenting the fact that her 3 year old had become convinced that she was “sick” and must stay home by her day care teacher because she’d been coughing. Apparently the teacher told her she shouldn’t be at school. My friend knew it was allergies, but because “teacher said,” her little girl could not be convinced to go to school because she was “sick.”

One word from that teacher. That’s all it took to convince a 3 year old. Wow! Is it any wonder that it got me thinking about other messages parents send their children, intentional or otherwise? I’ve shared the positive impact my own mother made on me regarding body image and sexuality….

But what does one do when the messages sent to them weren’t so uplifting? How does one go about fixing themselves so that they can be a better, stronger person for their children?  Recently I saw this video by Amy Jo Goddard and thought she had some great points…

A mother’s job is so important. She molds and builds her children to be strong, capable, productive members of society…hopefully who are also comfortable in their own skins, with their own bodies. She can raise children who aren’t afraid to embrace life, make their own decisions…and handle all the consequences, both good and bad.

What valuable lessons did your mother teach you? If your a mom, what message do you hope you’ve imparted on your children?

In honor of all the wonderful Mothers out there…and the wonderful and challenging job they have, I’m giving away my first novelette, Three For All….so go grab your Freebie and tell your friends!

Here’s a little excerpt:

“Oh, come on,” James whined. “You’re not seriously going to make me go play by myself.”

“That was a loaded statement.” I bit my tongue to keep from giggling over James’ inadvertent innuendo. “But seriously, there are always options.”

“Options?” His eyes were nearly black with intensity, his curiosity was caught. “Such as?”

“Well,” I smiled brightly and stepped between both men, “We could always head back to your uncle’s cottage. Much more privacy there.”

James shook his head as he took a step back. “Oh, hell no. This is my vacation too. We are not going back there just so I can sit all by myself in my room while you two get your freak on, christening every room in the place. Been there, done that. No thanks. Not today. Love you, but no.”

The urge to do a happy dance at the opportunity that just landed in my lap was nearly irresistible. Instead, I batted my eyes at them playfully as my hands found their way up both men’s chests, enjoying the feel of firm muscle. “Who said you had to be by yourself?”

Who I Am…

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I’m smiles of welcome
That warms my eyes.
A clever tongue
Wielded like a sharpened knife
Or rich sweetness of honey…
The choice is always
Yours.
I’m the core of steel,
Honed
By determination, grief and God.
I’m tears at sappy movies,
Laugh out loud with books.
Words and music
Flow
Like the blood in my veins.
I believe the best,
Till worst is proven.
Faith is more than
Lip service;
infused into my heart.
Slow to anger,
And slower still
To forget.
Work hard,
Play harder….
Enjoy the raunchy.
Brutal honesty is
Valued,
Respect is earned.
Push
And I push back…
Harder.
Control is my strength
And my weakness;
I rarely let it go.
I love
Without reservations
And try to never hate.
I may bend,
Sometimes fall,
But will never be broken.

I’ve seen lots of posts about letters to yourself…or descriptions of where you’re from, and I’ve loved them…but they weren’t quite right for a girl who’s from everywhere. So I decided to try to write about who I am. There’s a song by Jessica Andrews called Who I Am that inspired my vision.

I’ve decided to accompany this post with a few pictures from my youth… Like the one below… My first piano lesson. 🙂

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Or my goofy, funky attempt at clashing…

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Or showing a bit of my inner wild child/biker chick.

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And finally, a little Glamour Shot that most people who know me call my flirty look…aka trouble just walked in…

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So tell me…who are you? What makes you tick at the core? Feel free to critique…I love feedback.

The Top

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She said, “It may not look like much to you
This lace and bead and string.
To me, it is a treasure
Worth more than anything.

This little decoration
I guard and rarely show
Sat atop my wedding cake
‘Bout sixty years ago.

Your grandpa looked so handsome
In the uniform he wore
Ready to join his life to mine
Before he headed off to war.

I cherished that little trinket,
Kept it close to me
While I said goodbye
And grandpa went to sea.

Don’t put your faith in money, dear,
Or superficial things.
Remember that what mattered most
Was when we exchanged our rings.”

The above is the original topper from my grandparents’ wedding cake.

My Grandpa served in WW2. On my Grandparents’ 60th anniversary several years back, my Grandma told me the story of that cake topper. You see, they got married during war time, so cake toppers had become scarce. In fact there were maybe 5 toppers left on the shelf, and the rest were paper. My Grams managed to snag this one. Once my grandpa went off to war, she protected that topper, unsure if it would be the only tangible thing she’d have of theirs for a while. Fortunately he came home safely.

She cherished that topper above all else. It was more important than her diamonds or any other expensive material thing that came along. In her eyes, that little, inexpensive bit of tulle and bead and string was priceless. She cherished it the way she cherished my Grandpa. She passed away a couple months after we celebrated their anniversary. Grandpa followed her a couple years later.

I will always miss them, but more importantly, I’ll always remember the lesson she taught me. Remember what’s important. Cherish the people you love. Don’t take them for granted. Love with your whole heart. Anything less than that is not worth it.

Here’s one of the last pictures I took of them together….on their 60th anniversary. I’ve got a feeling they’re reunited once again.

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