Another Mother Weighs In…

August 24, 2006

In response to my ‘struggling-to-write-love’ series, and to your responses to those posts…

Hi Sweetie,

I’ve just been reading your most recent posts and some of the responses. They have evoked a lot of feelings in me, but not what I expected. It was a timely reminder of why I do what I do,* particularly at this time when I thought I was winding down. It intensified the passionate feelings I have regarding injustice and has spurred me to a new ferociousness and fearlessness in my advocacy work for all of those children who have not had and/or will not have mothers whose feelings for their children moves them to tears, whose love for their children radiates from every fibre of their being. It was, as you know, my eternal gratitude to God for the wonderful gift of you and your sister and my outrage at the injustice of circumstances of birth that started me in this direction. My wish is that these wonderful, loving, blogging mothers will, at some point in time, reflect on the children born who will never experience the depth and breadth of love that you feel for WonderBaby, that I feel for you, and that they feel for their children, and that they will reflect on the children whose parents do not have ability/means to provide their children with what is necessary for those children to pursue their dreams and to be all that they can be. And that they will reflect and do something.

Love you dearly,


*My mother is executive director of a treatment center for youth in crisis (specific to drugs and alcohol). Working with and advocating for youth has been her life for a very long time.

**My mother rocks.

Word to Grandma.

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    Mrs. Chicky August 24, 2006 at 11:01 pm

    Your mom does rock. That can’t be easy work so she must be an incredible woman.

    btw, where do you find such great shirts for Wonderbaby? Fabulous.

    Granny August 24, 2006 at 11:09 pm

    Yep, your mom rocks. It’s a difficult job.

    Angel Baby August 24, 2006 at 11:24 pm

    I can’t believe your mom does something so cool for a living. Now your blog makes a little more sense to me: how you are able to tackle big issues with such grace, how comfortable you seem to be talking about so many different topics.

    I always wished that my mom would be into something that related to my life even in the smallest way… that she would challenge herself to appreciate the challenges in my life… that she would educate herself so that she would appreciate how hard I worked for my education.

    Sigh. That she would do something that wasn’t just about her life, her house, her wallet, herself. I hate struggling against the need to explain why I want to do things for other people. I know all mother/daughter relationships have their issues, but it seems to me that your mom understands enough about others to truly appreciate the work you do via blogging. How wonderful.

    slackermommy August 24, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    Your mom does rock. Will she be my mother? I’d love to trade mine in.

    Bahar August 24, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    You women are the reason why I am a proud woman (all three of you).

    You make me want to be the best I can be and do my best to help others.

    I think I have said before: Thank you for being who you are.

    Lady M August 25, 2006 at 12:13 am

    Wow. You have a wonderful way with words, just like your Mom! Looking forward to WonderBaby’s first essays.

    lildb August 25, 2006 at 1:17 am

    your mother sounds amazing.

    lucky wonderbaby. a fabulous momma, and an amazing gran. what a legacy.

    Mommy off the Record August 25, 2006 at 1:44 am

    Um, I think like five people already said this, but….

    Your mom DOES rock.

    I’m sure she’s been an inspiration for you.

    something blue August 25, 2006 at 3:24 am

    It is frightening to reflect on parents that do not have the ability or means to enable their children to dream and grow. Not being able to provide would sometimes be as damaging to the parent as it is to the child. Every situation is different so it is a huge amount to comprehend. For me to be able to make a difference in someone’s life; someone whose needs are not being met would be magnificent. Hooray for your mom and people like her.

    mrsmogul August 25, 2006 at 5:54 am

    Ahh that’s nice, My mom and I don;t have that kind of relationship, she doens;t even know how to use the computer!


    Waya August 25, 2006 at 6:55 am

    Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?! That’s great work your Mom is doing for all the children out there who need a little bit of love like everyone else. WonderBaby is beautiful in that t-shirt!!

    Kvetch August 25, 2006 at 7:37 am

    How totally cool that your mom reads your blog – and that she is on the same page as you, so to speak. I see a family of amazing women that Wonderbaby is going emulate. Lucky – all of you!

    metro mama August 25, 2006 at 7:45 am

    She does indeed.

    Cakes is envious of WonderBaby’s wardrobe.

    Ruth Dynamite August 25, 2006 at 7:50 am

    I had no doubt that you have an incredible mother. It shows.

    tomama August 25, 2006 at 7:57 am

    Hey The Dude has that same shirt. Someone’s been shopping at Fresh Baked Goods!

    Joy ~ aka Wild Child August 25, 2006 at 8:17 am

    Hi, just wanted to say thank you for this challenge. I read it over at Mommy off the record and the fact she shared her story of her mother helped me share my story.

    I included this link to my post in your original post and add it again here.

    Beanie Baby August 25, 2006 at 8:21 am

    I have a question for you/your mom.

    I used to volunteer with the big sisters (did you see that post?) but for obvious reasons, right now it’s really not an option. But I’d love to be able to give something to kids that need it and don’t have it–and I don’t mean toys, I mean affection and support. So, how? Besides donating money, what are my options as a very, very busy mom of one with a full-time job?

    Serious question.

    Every time I heard about Jeffrey on the news I bawled like a kid. I’d love to think I can make a difference in the life of another child in poor circumstances.

    Suggestions eagerly anticipated.

    sunshine scribe August 25, 2006 at 9:03 am

    Knowing this and all the other good words you’ve shared about your mom explains so much about you. You are clearly the daughter of one mom who rocks.

    You can let her know that I get it. And I do reflect and do something. So important.

    SUEB0B August 25, 2006 at 9:14 am

    You come from good people.

    I haven’t been commenting here much lately, and it hasn’t been because I don’t read you or love you. It has been because I am speechless.

    Jen August 25, 2006 at 9:15 am

    This illustrates perfectly the undeniable and critical role every mother (and father) plays in influencing the character and values of their children. I have a friend whose own mother struggled to show love and now has burdened her own daughter with this legacy. Although aware of her history and her shortcomings she struggles to be the mother she wants to be. For those of us who were fortunate enough to be born to a mother who rocks this is part of our life experience and therefore comes more naturally. I recognize and admire all of the moms out their who are struggling to break the cycle passed on to them by their own mothers and nurture and love their children so that they can nurture and love too.

    sweetney August 25, 2006 at 9:47 am

    oh my god, *I* love your mom!

    TB August 25, 2006 at 10:06 am

    What an amazing gift for you to have such a wonderful relationship with your mother and for Wonderbaby to know her grandmother.

    crazymumma August 25, 2006 at 10:38 am

    Reading this…I thought of a strong vine…from the vine comes you….and then from you comes Wonderbaby. On and on and on
    Your Mother sounds amazing, and most importantly she has given me/us something very important to reflect on.

    Annie, The Evil Queen August 25, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    Evidently all the women in your family rock. I love WonderBaby’s tee shirt.

    Elizabeth August 25, 2006 at 12:58 pm

    I got a lump in my throat at “Hi Sweetie”, and had tears in my eyes by the time I read “Love You Dearly”.

    I hope you know just how lucky you are to have a Mother who truly loves you and isn’t afraid to say it. I am one of those Moms Jen commented on who are struggling every day to break the cycle of my childhood. My children will always know that I love them, no matter what.

    Also, your Mother’s work has to be so frustrating, challenging and yet so rewarding. I admire her.

    mamatulip August 25, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    I love this post. I love that your mother said these words. And I love what your mother does, because it’s so desperately needed and so important.

    penelopeto August 25, 2006 at 1:44 pm

    hip grandmas rock. so does that onesie (bee’s cousin has it, and it has been promised as a hand-me-down if it withstands the wear).

    sounds like you can count on at least 3 generations of excellent women in your family.

    jennster August 25, 2006 at 1:54 pm

    omg- your mom is SO fucking awesome! LOVE HER! no wonder you’re so kick ass!

    Mother Bumper August 25, 2006 at 4:26 pm

    Your mom rocks (omg, is there an echo in here?). Am I surprized? No. Check out her offspring and then their offspring who all rock it to the nth degree.

    Mom101 August 25, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    The apple, as they say, does not fall far from the awesome, intelligent, socially conscious, sensitive, effusive, loving maternal tree.

    Okay so that’s not what they say. But you get the point.

    kittenpie August 25, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    Hey! Your mother DOES rock!
    So that’s where you get it…

    Crunchy Carpets August 25, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    Oh man…your moom is cool and amazing and makes me feel very humble.

    Yes, our kids ARE lucky.

    lyn August 25, 2006 at 6:11 pm

    your mom’s post helped reconfirm a growing desire i’ve had to bring an adopted child into our home. my husband and i–since we began talking about having children–have always wanted 2 biological children and to adopt another for just the reasons your mother was talking about. we feel like we are so lucky to have our babygirl, but we also feel like there’s definitely room in our circle of love for a child whose mother couldn’t (for whatever reason/s) maintain a space in her life for him or her. for me, it’s definitely an intention to act in accordance with what i believe–that if you can do it, you should–in any situation. it’s also very political for me in that, as a pro-choice feminist, i want to help in a situation where i feel pro-life values neglect to go (i.e., the current u.s. political regime): if you won’t let women choose whether or not to become mothers in their own ways and time, then we are left with children who need to be mothered when their biological ones fail them. at any rate, my point is that your mother’s words echoed ones i’ve been hearing in my own heart for years now. you are blessed to have such a wonderful well of strength and wisdom to draw from, one that gives wonderbaby a beautiful place to grow.

    Her Bad Mother August 25, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    What a beautiful and powerful sentiment, Lyn.

    Her Bad Mother August 25, 2006 at 7:42 pm

    Beanie Baby – I’ll follow up on this with my mom, but the fast answer would be this: one of the very best things that you can do is find out what programs exist in your community (and more broadly – province, state, country) for children and youth in crisis and lobby hard for expansion/support of those programs – write your MP or whatever government representative and tell them to put more money into these things.

    Peak House (which is in BC) has for years been the only government-funded treatment program for children with substance misuse problems, and they have an insane waitlist. Many children on the list don’t even make it to their front doors. The same problem plagues all variety of support programs for kids. So one of the best things we can do as parents is apply as much political pressure as we can to get governments to start investing in children, beginning with the neediest children.

    Dawn August 25, 2006 at 7:49 pm

    I can’t love you more.

    Recovering Wino August 25, 2006 at 9:21 pm

    I love that shirt!

    Mama C-ta August 25, 2006 at 11:29 pm

    Your mom is cool, wanna trade?

    Love WonderBaby’s shirt!

    nonlineargirl August 25, 2006 at 11:39 pm

    Great mother you’ve got there. I love my mother and we share a lot (including a wonky taste for health policy discussions) but I haven’t showed my blog with her.

    Heather August 26, 2006 at 12:19 am

    Simply awesome. I do reflect on the joys and luck that I have to have 2 such beautiful and healthy children. A friend of mine just learned that the baby she’d planned to adopt will be staying with birth mom. My heart bleeds for her, and for the birth mom. I’m so blessed to not have to go through something like that.

    toyfoto August 26, 2006 at 6:56 am

    I have been thinking about your writing prompt since you posted it and it really has me thinking. Oddly enough that means I haven’t been writing. Reading all the wonderful responses has been a full-time job. Your mom just said it so nicely. Perhaps I will be able to add my thoughts soon, but I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate what you’ve already done. Word to you, too.

    Pattie August 26, 2006 at 9:11 am

    Your Mom does rock! :)

    Bobita August 26, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    The degree to which your Mom rocks…is inexplicable!

    Dana August 26, 2006 at 3:25 pm

    She is truly a wonderful woman and I can see that you have the same trait! I wonder where you got that from?

    HBM, since I’ve only been reading your blog a short few weeks, I can still say that I admire you for your writings. It really touches my soul and encourages me to not be afraid to write anything (within in some reason of course). I can only thank you for making me want to be a better writer, author, blogger and even mother.

    So, thank you!

    julia August 26, 2006 at 3:32 pm

    I feel like a parrot, but yeah, your mother is fantastic. No wonder you’re so…well, you.

    WonderBaby, as usual, rocks the t-shirt scene.

    I’ve finally put up a post on the subject.

    mama kay August 27, 2006 at 1:23 am

    Your mom does rock. I am envious of the open tenderness that she displays.
    Lucky you. Lucky her. Lucky Wonderbaby!

    mo-wo August 27, 2006 at 9:29 am

    Hey Mrs. HBM, cool notes. Will do!

    ps… HBM I must know the shirt vendor I think I need four

    Suburban Turmoil August 27, 2006 at 9:32 am

    Oh, your mother sounds just wonderful.

    And I love your love post. The great thing is, that fierce, physical love that you feel will start being returned by her in the next year. My two-year-old gets an incredibly intense look on her face sometimes when she’s hugging me and she’ll do something amazingly primal, like press her face up against mine and press herself into me as hard as she can. And then she’ll say, “Mommy, I love you sooooo much.” And I just melt. It’s such a raw expression of her total love for me and I absolutely treasure it with every fiber of my being.

    KJ's muse August 27, 2006 at 10:50 am

    I’ve been lurking on your blog for ages now, and decided it was time to delurk. Your mom sounds wonderful, you, well, you’re just delightful, and WonderBaby is a lucky girl to reap the benefits of that! I’m the product of less-than-optimal parenting myself (my father decided early on that he didn’t want to be a dad, although he continued to live in the home, while my mom wasn’t able to stop the pattern of abuse she experienced growing up), and in part that is why I decided not to have kids myself. I wasn’t willing to take the risk that I couldn’t stop the cycle either, and even though I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like otherwise, I don’t think I regret my decision. But maybe that’s why I find myself drawn to mommy blogs like yours. I get to peek into the lives of women who are capable of providing a stable loving environment for their kids, but who can talk about parenting in a way that is real, and frank, and not just idealized. So thank you.

    Her Bad Mother August 27, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    The t-shirt is from Fresh Collective in Toronto(

    I don’t know if the t-shirts are available on-line, but you could always e-mail a request – they’re pretty personable.

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