My mom is celebrating a pretty big birthday today. Since I’m not there to honour her in person, I thought it fitting that I pay tribute to her here using some of her (and my) favourite literary characters.
1. Jane Eyre – The Artist
Like Jane, my mother has a lively imagination and is an accomplished artist. She has always had a great ‘eye’ for detail, and my childhood was filled with creativity and art projects. Lately, she has taken to oil painting again and is proving to be very talented and prolific indeed! Like Mr Rochester to Jane, my dad has served as a faithful model in a number of Mom’s paintings.
2. Natasha Rostova – The Beloved
Like Natasha, my mother has an ineffable endearing quality that makes most folks take to her almost immediately upon meeting her. ‘I’m a people person,’ she has explained over and over again to me and my dad as we stare at her blankly, wondering why anyone would be in the business of enjoying people. At any rate, she successfully snagged my pops for the long haul, and they will be celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary in December.
3. Elinor Dashwood – The Strong
Like Elinor, my mother is strong as hell. Very rarely does she let down her guard and show any sign of weakness or tearful emotion. I spent most of my youth as a blubbering Marianne Dashwood, and this generally wasn’t well received. And, I mean, I guess she was right that I would eventually get over my 8th grade breakup so there was no use crying about it and listening to Fiona Apple on repeat. Sense.
4. Catherine Earnshaw – The Wild
Like Cathy, my mother has a wild heart and a love of the moors. I’ll never forget her calling to Heathcliff when we walked to Top Withens together. Luckily the moor was authentically deserted so I didn’t need to feel the natural humilation of a 13 year-old girl with an embarrassing parent. But, humour aside, she did instill in me a deep love of the English countryside and for that I am ever grateful.
5. Dorothea Brooke – The Devoted
Like Dorothea, my mother is a devoted Christian. If you haven’t noticed, my language is at times salty and I haven’t always lived up to her standards (one time she found a note a had written and felt the need to keep it inside her Bible ‘to be cleansed’), but she did her best to instill faith-based values in all her children.
6. Marmee – The Mother
Speaking of her children, like Marmee, my mother spent most of her life as the protective shepherdess of multiple children. There are three of us, to be exact. Although she perhaps wishes now that she’d spent less time parenting and more time painting, there is no denying that she is incredibly maternal. (Sorry Mom, I know you hate the Marmee moniker and probably also Susan Sarandon.)
7. Gwendolen Harleth – The Tastemaker
Like Gwendolen, my mother has a taste for the finer things in life and values nice things. She has impeccable style and a flair for creating enviable interiors. I grew up surrounding by antiques tastefully selected from boot sales and shops across Great Britain. Lots of these things were breakable and subsequently I broke them. Note: tape is not particularly effective when attempting to secretly fix broken porcelain.
8. Bella Wilfer – The Beauty
Like Bella, my mother is really pretty, y’all. Sean Connery himself picked her photo out of all the other girls at her high school to win some beauty contest thingy (this sounds sort of creepy as I’m typing it out, but really, it was a big honour!).
9. The Hulk – The Temper
Like the Hulk, my mother has been known to have a tiny little bit of a temper. Hopefully she will forgive me this joke (oh god oh please don’t kill me, Mom, ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!). To be fair, sometimes it just sounds like she’s yelling when really she’s just speaking loudly on account of my father’s deafness. His deafness seems be selective, however, so I’m not sure that the volume of her voice really matters in this respect.
10. Elizabeth Bennet – The Wit
Fortunately, like Lizzie, my mother can take a joke like the one above about the Hulk!!!!!! Right???? But really, she has a great sense of humour. You had to be pretty thick-skinned growing up in our house… everything was fair game for mockery! She taught me the valuable lesson being able to laugh at yourself.
11. Scarlett O’Hara – The Everything
Lastly and mostly, my mother is like Scarlett in pretty much all ways. Fierce Southern Belle. Brave, bold, defiant, independent, fickle, resourceful, determined, beautiful, wily…. the list goes on. And so does she!
Happy Birthday, Mom ❤
xWG // #dazeandweekes