Today I'm extending a special welcome to those visitors from the Learn Like a Momlink. I'm thrilled you have taken a moment from your busy schedule. If you haven't had a chance to check out the link, please do, and make note of the subtitle: Embrace Life's Teachable Moments. What a concept!
Earlier this week I posted a blog about Grandparents and the role Abuelo, Grandfather, plays in my When Christmas Feels Like Home picture book. He is secondary, but essential to the story of how Eduardo adjusts to his new life. So, too, is Eduardo's mother. She is there for support, to comfort him when he wants to go back home and to help him through the adjusting process.
That's what moms do.
When they can.
Sometimes, like in my second book, Called to the Mountains: The Story of Jean L. Frese, that proves to be impossible. The mom in this very true book could not support, comfort, nor help her daughters through adjusting. She was a single mom in 1927, working as a maid in the local hospital. Her energy went into surviving and her girls went into family members' homes. She did the best she could with the limited resources available.
As I went through the interviewing process for the Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School, I caught (I consider myself a storycatcher) many stories about moms. Mothers in the forties had the additional responsibility of comforting their children during blackouts, rationing, and nightmares of war. Often they did this alone, all the while worrying about their husbands or brothers on the battlefield.
Mothers in the fifties chuckled, I'm sure, when June Cleaver of "Leave it to Beaver" fame appeared at the door of their ideal television house in her full skirt, tiny waist, and pearl necklace, welcoming her husband, Ward, with the perfect meal after his long hard day at the office. Some of the mothers of this era in the mountains of North Carolina were stay at home moms that had three complete meals on the table every day of the year, square meals they called it, those fresh biscuits at the break of dawn kind of mothers. Other mothers worked in the furniture factories or the chemical plants and depended on their own moms to handle child care.
Their war was against polio. They feared nightly as they tucked their children into bed and listened to them pray, "If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." That was their reality. It was happening across the nation, polio striking in the middle of the night, unpredicted.
Mountain mothers of the sixties didn't have time for hippies and love beads. They were busy raising children, working the gardens or the factories, being room mothers with Valentine cupcakes. Society was changing around them, yet they were the one constant the children had.
Styles change. Trends come and go and lead the world away from the known into the unknown. Through it all, mothers stand by their families and withstand the challenges.