When we were kids, we climbed tall trees and splashed in bottomless puddles Now as an adult, I pause when walking through those same puddles and look at the other me that exists in that reflected world.
She is someone brave who does not forget to find joy in a moment. She feels for the life that is and the life that could be.
As always I have to look away and see the counting down of the street crosswalk and leave my ripples in the puddle to find their own journeys. My dripping feet leave wet and quickly disappearing footsteps behind me – like my childhood that is hard to hold on to and dissipates into barely visible memories.
It is important to find the magic where you can.
Because so much will try to steal your joy.
My mother taught me better than to let it.
And she did it with a book.
I was reading a BookBub article this morning – an interview with author Celeste Ng. She said:
The person who helped me fall in love with reading was: my mom —
she gave me tons of books
when I was a kid and made a point of giving me books
about strong girls and women
so that I could imagine becoming one too.
With books, Celeste’s mom taught her to be braver and showed her what strength she would need to be a woman in our world. What books had made me and what did they say about women? Reflecting, the first book I can think of is Mercedes Lackey’s Arrows of the Queen.
The book features a girl named Talia, curly brown hair and big brown eyes (my exact likeness), and a big heart brave enough to stand up for others but not herself ( I was also a timid child). I related too much.
Servant girl Talia is kidnapped by a white stallion and told she is a Herald, a mage with gifts that make her the queens right-hand counselor. Adventure ensues and she learns how to use her gift, the power to feel others emotions and impact their thoughts.
Not to spoiler it, but she learns that to feel another’s emotions is a heavy burden.
I think my mother knew the kind of hero I would need. On the page and in our house, I learned what compassion, kindness, and strength could be. To this day, I wonder if I worry too deeply and give too much. I realize from Talia, that emotions are not a weakness–feeling too much and learning how to control it–it is power in yourself. It is a respect for all people and a need to see that connection in others. The villain isn’t simply evil but has become so through their own circumstances and choices, and the hero is not always free of guilt.
What I hope to impart as Mother’s Day has just passed, is that for both Celeste and myself, our mothers chose books that directly impacted our views of what it means to be a woman. For her, it was strength. For me, it is compassion.
You may not realize how much mind control those first bookling years impacted you, but don’t lose the magic your mother helped instill in you with those first books. Reflect on those adventurous days and remember they are so many new adventures ahead.
Moms and mom figures are a crucial step in how we define ourselves as women. I thank mine every day for being the spunky, eclectic, and open-minded creature she is, and for showing me that I can have a big heart and be brave and powerful and grounded. She taught me to see worlds in puddles and the possibilities in myself- I find that in yourself today!
Happy Belated Mother’s Day Bookworms!
Let us know in the comments the book your mom first impacted you with!