There are so many wonderful mothers that I don’t know where to start. Here I am going to list them–it’s an inexhaustible list and I can only list a few. Real life mothers and literary mothers are going to be mixed together because they coexist in my mind without much difference to each other.
- Mothers who work hard to juggle family and work. These mothers work non-stop and they don’t have a minute for themselves. If there are grandparents around to lend a hand, these mothers can have a break from time to time, but otherwise, they just have to rally their strength to deal with the pressure.
- Mothers who enjoy spending time with their children. I know one or two mothers like this in my community. The mother and daughter pair show up in hair salon, shopping mall, church. They wear each other’s clothes, comb each other’s hair, talk about recipes and beauty routines. I always envy them. My own relatives are reserved and inexpressive, which makes me desire affectionate display even more.
- Mothers who are very serious about their children’s education. These mothers involve themselves in their children’s schoolwork, friendship, after school training. They talk with teachers and other mothers to see if there are resources to be explored and opportunities to be sought after for their kids. Some would move from one township to another to find the best school experience for their kids.
- Dedicated mothers who work for their children’s careers. Behind every tennis player, figure skater, child actor and classical musician, there’s a mother who sacrifice her own career to accompany her child as a chauffeur, a cheerleader, a comforter, a scheduler.
- Mrs. Musgrove in “Persuasion” by Jane Austen. She is very affectionate and caring to all her children. One of her sons are sent to the navy because he’s intractable on land. Still she loves him and wants to know how his life is under Captain Wentworth.
- Mrs. Wilcox in “Howards End” by E. M. Forster. She is so loving to her children and so loving to Margaret too even if she’s not her children. What a wonderful woman, person, and mother. Her heart is open and she respects friendship between women–although the author never points this out, I suspect she loves Margaret more than she loves those characters of hypocrisy in her own family– E. M. Forster is brilliant in here to probe something that rarely examined by other novelists. For a person who grows up in a family based society like me, his writing is so exotic and refreshing.
- Mothers who are entertaining. In Bridget Jones’s Diary, Mrs. Jones is very entertaining and I love the character, although I dislike the author’s treatment of her, which relegates her to the corner of eccentricity and irrationality. Her desire is valid and her yearning for experiences is essential for human existence despite the fact that her pursuit will surely disturb the family peace.
- Mothers who are unconventional. Angelina Jolie’s mother is like that. She let her daughter express her thoughts and emotions freely without the usual parental sanctions; she asked her daughter’s boyfriend–her high school peer– to move in with them. Also in the TV series “The Affair”, Alison’s mother is such a character. She lives and loves unconventionally even if she incurs a lot of criticism from people around her.