In celebration of Mother’s Day 2017, I am updating last year’s comments!
Mother’s Day is a spring day to celebrate and appreciate our mothers and reflect on our own role as a mother. Mother’s Day, as we know it, was initiated in the 1850s as a way to improve sanitary conditions and decrease infant mortality. After the Civil War, this led to Mother’s Friendship Day as a way of promoting peace. The celebration of Mother’s Day has led to the commercial success of this special day.
In considering the history of this day, I reflected on some of the books that I have read recently with strong maternal characters. On a positive note, here are some novels with strong role models:
Anne of Ingleside (L.M. Montgomery). As I begin reading Rainbow Valley, (the 7th book in the Anne of Green Gables series), it makes me reflect on the role of Marilla Cuthbert who loved and cared for Anne as well as Anne’s experience as a mother in her later books. Anne goes on to raise her own brood of children 5 children on Prince Edward Island.
Little Women (Louisa Alcott), a classic tale of a family coming of age story of a family of 4 girls who are living with their mother while their father is away during the Civil War. The sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy make the best of difficult times supporting each other, helping their mother and making their own fun.
When the Moon is Low (Nadia Hashimi), a coming of age story and example of the strength of mother trying to give her children a better life while escaping Afghanistan. Not only is this story a great example of the support from mothers but it is impossible not to admire this author who works to share these stories while balancing her young family of four, her writing and her demanding job as an emergency room paediatrician.
The Bear (Claire Cameron) tells the tale of a family’s worst nightmare during a family camping trip to Algonquin Park when the parents were attacked by a bear. The father bravely saves Anna and Alex by hiding them safely in “Coleman”, their sturdy cooler and in the morning her catastrophically injured mother instructs Anna to look after her brother by leaving the island in the canoe.
The Dovekeepers (Alice Hoffman) is the story of 4 resilient women, determined to protect their families during Roman domination over the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem during a 4 year period around 70C.E. These women blend their strength, intelligence, faith and healing powers to support each other through this violent period of history as they protected their children.
Happy Mother’s Day to my own Mom and to my Aunt Sharon who have been wonderful role models of love, support, strength and resilience!!! Enjoy the day!