Mother courage

What an odd day it’s been.  This morning I got all aggravated about something in the newspaper and spent about four hours composing an Op-Ed piece–something I have not done since college.  That was the most painstakingly crafted piece of prose I’ve produced in years; I’m not counting the large, messy personal essay I’ve been working on this year, which may or may not ever see the light of day.  I ignored a bunch of things on my to-do list to do it, including a few which I had planned to do on the last business day of spring break, but oh well!  So now I have two unlikely Things for which to wait by the phone, or the email, anyway.  No, still no news about the Thing!

The Op-Ed was fun to write, though.  I wish I’d had it on hand when I was trying to get my students to write interesting opinion essays earlier in the year.  Oh well, maybe next year.

(No, these blog posts are not painstakingly crafted.  But you knew that.  Still, the idea of blogging as warmup writing, keeping the prose voice in tune, or whatever–there’s something to that.)

Meanwhile, this is the funniest/saddest treatment of that mom’s letter to the Daily Princetonian I have seen.  I’ve noticed, though, that boys with problematic mothers (inappropriate, oversharing, overidentification, general personality issues) seem to manage somewhat better than girls, on average.  I’ve asked a few colleagues, and they’ve tended to agree: some boys seem able to detach with kindness from a “difficult” mom, but this seems harder for girls.  (Too bad for the Snork Maiden, huh?)  I would go look in Therapydoc‘s archives for support for this theory, but my mom happens to be coming over for dinner, and I have to finish cleaning the doorknobs with a toothbrush.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Oh, Meansomething, you slay me. The last line, especially, is perfection.

    But I think you’re right for our culture because men are more expected to do their own thing, while women are expected to remain more attached to their mothers. (My Mom has a little rhyme she likes for this, but it makes me crazy and so I refuse to remember it.) (I have to admit, I was half expecting the son to come out in the replies.)


    • Posted by meansomething on April 6, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      B, I think that’s true. Also, in HS you can really see how powerful the mother’s example is. If the mother is anxious/obsessed with body image/controlling, the daughter often is too. It’s a very powerful reminder to me to support my daughter in being who she is, not who I think she ought to be. (Which is sometimes harder than I thought it would be!)


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