May is motherhood memoir month

May is a Mother of a Month

17 years ago today, at age 47 1/2, I gave birth to my third daughter, our six child.
somewhere along the line we realized May 1 is my 1/2 birthday (and Nov. 1, my whole birthday, is Arielle’s 1/2 birthday). This is a child who loves to celebrate, and a child we love celebrating.

mother and daughter cheek to cheek- Arielle and I
at the wedding reception for Marie & Jerome in Burgundy France, 2023

Today, after birthday dinner and opening gifts, including 9 sketchbooks because she loves to draw and ran out of sketchbooks last week, she reviewed her life in pictures on my phone. She commented on our many trips together- Iceland, England, Germany last year, France several times… so many good times together, but all too soon it will be time for her to leave home.

17 begins a countdown to adulthood, graduation and college, and/or possibly marriage. Her sister, our middle daughter, is getting married at the end of this month.

Tucked in the middle of May is Mother’s Day, on the 12th. Is it a day you look forward to or what feelings does it bring up? My mother is dead and even though I wouldn’t say we were close, I miss her. That seems to be a common theme with missing mothers. In this moment I realize I’m glad for this feeling of missing her—its also a good sign. It makes me feel more human, and kinder, less impatient than I often was with her. I’m a better daughter now and while that may not be useful to her, it helps me. Transformation in our relationships still takes place beyond death; our relationships live on within our minds, where missing occurs.

I may write about this more in the month to come. I don’t have an exact plan, other than to write as often as I can this month, which promises to be a whirlwind of activity. But for today, I want to tune in to my newly minted 17 year-old and remember what it was like to be 17.

Do you remember? You might write a few lines about that. Or about May. In France they give each other lilies on this day. Did I mention that our May bride is named Lily, after my grandmother? Here she is 17 years ago at age eight, holding her new baby sister.

What were you doing 17 years ago? During May I’ll write and offer prompts, hoping to inspire you to take up your pen or whatever your prefer and jot down your thoughts.
Happy Writing,

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