To all the Moms

Grr-argh (sung like the ending credits to a Buffy episode) I just spent the last 20 minutes looking for a book. Not any book, that would be easy, I have scads, heaps, mountains. Nope, I was looking for a particular hardback anthology with a story in it that came to mind when I decided to write a Mother’s Day post. I looked on my upstairs shelves… the fact that this particular book is a special size hardback with a pretty dustcover made it easy to see that it was NOT on the shelves. I went downstairs to search… I remember where it was in my bedroom while I was growing up. For some reason it was under the bed. Don’t ask me why, I really have no idea! It’s not like I was hiding it. I bought when I was a teenager shopping with my dad in 1995, at Sam’s Club! Ha! So I remember where I bought it and where I used to keep it, but unfortunately not where it is in the present.  I have books on multiples shelves, books in stacks and the worst part, books in boxes! Part of my goal for The Book Tart is to catalog my books… But I’d rather read them than count them and organize them, which is why it’s nowhere near completion! I want minions to do it for me. Or better yet, single(that’s important :p some of them aren’t available), Mr. Romance cover models, that would get hot and sweaty, scratch that! They might damage my books. So, just warm enough to take off their shirts and move my books around and build me bookshelves. *sigh* A girl can dream…. I decided to check the only part of my collection that is alphabetized to see if by any chance I had the book in paperback too. Wonder of wonders, I do! Yay! *confetti* “A Holiday of Love” anthology with stories from Judith McNaught, Jude Deveraux, Arnette Lamb and Jill Barnett. (all excellent! I adore holiday short stories.)

 

Front CoverThe story by Jude Deveraux is the one that popped into my mind when I wanted to write a blog for Mother’s Day. The title of this short story is Change Of Heart and it’s delightfully fun …. Yes, the heroine is a mom, she’s a nurse. I really loved the relationship between the mother, Randy and her son, Eli. The way Eli goes about matching up his single mom, who loves to read romances, with a proper man, who he thinks will take care of his mother when he goes away to school, is nothing short of creative genius!  The story is part of Deveraux’s  Montgomery-Taggert series. It’s 87 pages of short, sweet, sexy and laugh out loud fun. I fell in love with all the characters. Randy may be a bit of a daydreamer but she has a core of steal. And Frank Taggert is strong and stubborn and lonely. And Eli, even after 16 years, I remembered that kid. I want him to get his own story. I have read this book a few times over the years. And though I don’t know where my hardback is, I do own 2 copies of the book. If you enjoy funny, sexy contemporary romance, I highly recommend Jude Deveraux.

I’m not sure why this story came to mind first. There are other books with moms as the heroine. And my mom is nothing like the main character in Jude Deveraux’s story. She’s not a single mother. Or a nurse, she always told us if it wasn’t bleeding we were fine! But she is strong and determined like the character Randy… She and my dad have been together for almost 34 years. They have 5 children, I’m the eldest. We were on vacation once and a lady in our hotel looked at my mom and all of us kids and asked if we had the same father!  Mom said, We were all the mailman’s kids. Which is true, our dad is a mailman. I’m actually not certain if Mom said that, or just told us she wished she had. My mom is my hero! She raised us 5 kids and taught us to value our relationships with each other. My mother is one of my best friends. And my siblings are too. She made sure we spent time with each other while we were growing up, that activities didn’t pull us away from spending time as a family. To this day, we are more than family, we are close friends. My sisters and brother and I have a weekly conference call to catch up because we live all over the country. I have heard people say that they can’t stand their siblings or they fight with their mom. That’s not my case, I am very blessed and I am so very thankful to her.

Mom taught us that we could be anything we wanted to be. That we needed to persevere, if we committed to a project we needed to finish it. If we decided we didn’t like whatever the assignment was, we couldn’t just quit, we had to try. I’m grateful for that attitude. It has been a valuable lesson. We could do what we wanted to do, try what we were interested in. She may have come to regret it, but she always let us do whatever we wanted with our hair, she had the attitude that hairstyles weren’t permanent… One of my sisters’ shaved her head. And I have been coloring my hair since my late teens. Recently it’s been VERY red.  But the lesson learned was, it’s just hair, it’ll grow. Don’t sweat the small stuff. She taught us to respect our elders. To get along with all sorts of people because God loves us equally. She showed us how to love God and those around us and to try and put others first.

My mother has dyslexia. She told us how she struggled in school until it was diagnosed and that she had to focus while reading because it didn’t come easily. My mom taught me how to read. She taught us all to love reading. I know she would get frustrated when she would find me hiding in the bathroom reading in the middle of the night, but she never ground me from reading, she’d just make me go to bed! She built me shelves for my books. She read books to my siblings and me. We would all gather in the living room and sit on the couches and floor and listen while Daddy read Lord of the Rings and Narnia, he did an amazing Reepicheep voice! I have so many great memories of spending time together as a family. Memories of mom helping us with science projects and dissecting cow’s eyeballs. *ewwww*  Thank you Mom, thank you for showing me how to be a beautiful, powerful woman. And that doesn’t mean saying “Oh, poor me, I don’t know how to do that” and fluttering my eye lashes, but I could learn to stand on my own 2 feet. Growing up I thought all moms fixed the plumbing and used the power tools!  I know that’s not always the case but I’ve come to appreciate the dynamic in my parents relationship, the give and take, seeing how they supported each other in their weaknesses and let their strengths shine. I have learned so much from my mother. I am extremely proud of everything she has accomplished and all she continues to do.

I love you Mommy! Happy Mother’s Day.

I would love to hear your thoughts on your favorite moms in books you’ve read. A few that came to mind after Jude Deveraux’s Change of Heart are Claire, in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I don’t want to spoil the story if you haven’t read them…She becomes a mom early in the series. The books are excellent, time travel, history, adventure, passion, Jamie *sigh* one of my all time favorite heroes. *whispers* I actually haven’t read past book 4. The books are HUGE, 700+ pages and a big time and energy commitment… But they are one of the few I can think of with a mom as a main character. Not a book where the heroine becomes a mom at the end of the story, but is a mother for the majority of the story.  What else? Elizabeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody mysteries… Amelia is the mom to Ramses. Oh! I just read Shelly Laurenston’s new shapeshifer book Bear Meets Girl, a smexy good time. I love the characters and dialogue. Shelly’s books make me laugh out loud. Marcella, the heroine in Bear Meets Girl, is a mother…. If you can think of a main character, preferably the heroine, in a fiction story that is a mother I would love to hear it. Please comment.

To all the mom’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

 

(((hugs)) The Queen of Tarts

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