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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Moms rule the world. There's no doubt of this in my mind. Having been raised by a strong, stubborn and smart woman, I never once believed I should let a man tell me what to do. Here's a shot of me with my mom, Shirley Spencer in about 2003.

When I first started reading romance, there was a strong trend toward the heroine not having a mother. Or if she did, her mother was somehow incapacitated or very far away. Even the classic Disney movies weren't big on moms. Snow White and Cinderella had great ones--the stereotypical wicked stepmothers. Sleeping Beauty had a mother, but she didn't put up much of a fight for her daughter, now did she? Jasmine, Ariel, Belle, Esmerelda, Pocahontas...all missing that important maternal figure in their lives. There's a very similar trend in young adult fiction, and it's not new. I remember thinking as a kid that all the cool stuff only happened to orphans, which simply wasn't worth the trade.

It's not a lost cause though. There are some great examples of motherhood in fiction, romance and otherwise. Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order. Name one of your favorite fictional moms in the comment section, and you can win a copy of Steam & Sorcery, with one of my favorite moms of the ones I've written, the governess Caroline. I think she's one of my favorites partly because at the beginning of the book, the kids aren't even her own. (If you already have that book, let me know, and we'll figure something out.)

Sarah Connors in the Terminator series. Really, do I need to say more? This woman seriously kicks ass and takes names to protect her son.

Alinor of Roselynde in the Roselynde Chronicles by Roberta Gellis. If you've never read Roberta Gellis, you're missing out on some of the best medieval romances, ever. Matriarch of the family, Alinor protects what's hers with wit and even sword, holding her own with the men and loving her family with an open heart. (These books have recently been re-released by Ellora's Cave Blush, if you missed them in the 70s.)

Jo March Bhaer in Little Men and Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott. This is a classic fictional mum who opens her heart to not just her own sons, but to all the boys she and her husband take in.

Morticia Addams, because she always clearly adored her children, but she proved mom could also have a sex life and be a little freaky.

Brak's Mom from The Brak Show on Cartoon Network. Don't let the apron fool you, this mom is scary. One of my favorite lines of all time is when she looks at the faintly-evil Zorak and says sweetly, "Just remember, dear. I can hurt you.

If you're reading this and you are a mom (and yes, that includes those amazing women who open their hearts to children they didn't give birth to,) have a wonderful Mother's Day. If your mother is still with you, let her know how much you love and appreciate her.

Meanwhile, let me know who are your favorites?


Tina Donahue said...

I loved Morticia. So cool, calm and collected in the face of all that chaos and madness. :)

Anonymous said...

Morticia Adams was a cool mom. So calm amidst the storm of anarchy.

Sarah Conner was a kick butt mom, who grew into the role of motherhood and becoming a soldier for the sake of her child.

Mrs. Buckett {Charlie's mom from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory} That lady sacrificed everything day in and day out so her child could have a small bit of happiness.

Molly Daniels said...

Marmee from Little Women, who ultimately influenced Jo:) Love both!

And Kitty, I agree with you:)

And yeah, I found the whole Disney thing puzzling also. And in Lion King, they reversed it; Simba lost his DAD, not mom. I cried BUCKETS when Bambie's mother was killed!

And then there's Thumper's mom..."What did the wise old owl tell you?" 'Nuff said!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Congrats to Kitty, my winner for this month. Thanks, Molly & Tina for commenting!

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