Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May - A garden of love

We write about our heroes, heroines, scoundrels - everyone. If the subject of the day is to write about a super rich, gorgeous heroine, we would get as many versions as those that are writing about her. I love how our fictional people are just like our families – everyone’s is so different.

In many books, plays, and movie scripts, there is a constant – a mother. She may be heroine, villain, or just a background character. How would you describe a mother? That salt-of-the earth, take-care-of-everyone sort? The young, vibrant, trendy kind? The one who must maintain appearances at all costs? The behind-the-scenes mother who will sacrifice all she has to insure her child’s success? The quiet woman who is renowned for her strength? Yes, each one might sound familiar—whether or not it describes your mother. These particular ones also describe mothers in the movies where many moms have been stereotyped. Can you guess which movies I have described? The site “Moms in the Movies” lists many you might recognize.

The most liberating truth of all, especially for those out there who are mothers, is that mothers are as complex and as many-faceted as a diamond. It makes no difference whether it is your birth-mother, or mother in any sense. It’s impossible for fiction to describe what in reality is one of the most primal relationships of our lives, an ever-evolving play of wills. What a monumental task to give birth and then to focus on the goal of sending her daughter out into the world to be independent of her.

Whether one’s mother was Ma Joad from The Grapes of Wrath or Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, or something in between, she has planted ideas that have shaped her daughter’s life. Our mothers have tended their gardens of love, sometimes with too much attention, sometimes with too little. We are those tender plants soaking up the warmth of her love and taking in all those intangible things that take up deep roots in us—thoughts, feelings, ideas. And our mother/daughter experiences are as varied and as unique as flowers.

This Mother’s Day, put aside any “issues”, and celebrate what is undoubtedly the hardest job in the world. Remember, no matter what level of friendship we have with our mothers, we are still children when we have them, and we’re orphans when they’re gone.

I am sure you have your favorites, but I think this list of movies will give you some ideas on mother/daughter time, or just you, with a bowl of popcorn and a DVD – with a box of Kleenex for tears of sadness or laughter.

Baby Boom--------Beaches--------Chocolat--------Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon--------Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood--------Freaky Friday-------- Imitation of Life--------Legally Blonde --------Mermaids--------Mildred Pierce--------Mommie Dearest--------Sense and Sensibility--------Sixteen Candles--------Steel Magnolias--------Stepmom--------Terms of Endearment--------The Joy Luck Club--------Whale Rider

I’ll bet some of you readers out there can weigh in on this one. Is that popcorn I smell?


Maxine Davis

11 comments:

Nicki Salcedo said...

Terminator is a great mom movie! It was the first time I was introduced to the idea of a kick a$$ mom. I have no words for Steel Magnolias. It is a great example of how we are the best mother to our friends.

Thanks, Maxine.

Tami Brothers said...

Aahhh. You guys are really making me think this week. I've never really thought about the mother/daughter relationships in movies, so this is really hard.

But I will say that I have been thinking about your line; "Remember, no matter what level of friendship we have with our mothers, we are still children when we have them, and we’re orphans when they’re gone."

Too true and take it from someone who rarely ever agrees with what her mother says or does, this is something I should try harder to remember before the orphan thing should happen.

Have a great day!

Tami

Cyrano said...

I agree with Nicki. Sarah Conner is a mom to be reckoned with. I like her character even more on the Tv version of the movie, The sarah conner chronicles...great stuff.
You mentioned Baby Boom and I love Diane Keaton in that role, and I love the character she plays and the growth she goes through. Plus it has a nice romance in it.
Now this is a little off the wall, but I love the movie Mr. Mom with Michael Keaton. He was a dad of course, but he took on the role of mom, failed miserably in the beginning (men just don't realize what goes into being a mom) but in the end everything turned out just fine.
I love my mom, she's great. She's also always right. That get's to be pretty annoying, but I've realized over the years that even if I get angry when she says something, in the end, I usually realize she was right all along. Plus, if I don't end up accepting it she guilts me into it (we're catholic and Italian...guilt is a way of life)
Thanks for the post maxine, I enjoyed it.
have a beautiful morning,
Tamara

Tammy Schubert said...

"Remember, no matter what level of friendship we have with our mothers, we are still children when we have them, and we’re orphans when they’re gone."

This is such a great line. It makes me think of my mother and the close relationship we have. I don't know what I would do without her.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I've been an orphaned daughter for many years now. I thoroughly enjoy my mother/daughter time with both of my girls. Movies are one way we do that. However, with my oldest daughter, we also trade reading books and then discuss.

Marilyn Baron said...

I also have a great mom. I just spent Mother's Day with her in Florida. Your post prompted me to share a sentiment I almost wrote on her mother's Mother's Day Card but didn't.

What is a Mom?

She's hard to live "up" to.

She never looks "down" on you.

She's always "around" when you need her.

She sees right "through" you.

And she loves you anyway.

Marilyn Baron

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Thanks for the post, Maxine. I tried to send a comment earlier, but something wasn't cooperating.

As an only child, my mom and I are very close. I remember once in particular when we went to see The Lion King--a father/son story watched for mother-daughter bonding.

As for moms in the movies, I really liked the mom in The Family Stone. I thought she was a great portrayal of a good mom who had her flaws nonetheless.

Susan May said...

Maxine,
The mon I thought about was the one in the new "Cheaper by the Dozen." She handle the children, supports her husband and becomes a writer. She also grows by the end of the movie.

Linsey Lanier said...

Maxine,

Great post.

"It’s impossible for fiction to describe what in reality is one of the most primal relationships of our lives, an ever-evolving play of wills."

That hits the nail on the head, I think.

Wow. It's time to break out the Kleenex again. This month is turning out beautifully.

Linsey

Carol Burnside said...

Lots of favorites in that movie list, though my daughter lives too far away for us to watch movies together.

As for the Kleenex, I could use a whole box on Steel Magnolias alone! I'm such a sap over movies.

Mary Marvella said...

Moms are like Mama Bears. Don't mess with out kids. Mama was a short person and the nicest person anyone could know. she was generous to a fault and tough as nails where her kids were concerned.

Me, I'm a pushover. Ask my daughter.

I don't watch movies or read books about moms who are dying. Can't do it.