As a mother, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about how I am raising my son. When he looks back on his life, and me, what will he say? Will he think I was a good mom? What did I do, consciously or not, to shape the man that he is?
As a blogger, I think about how my words here are my legacy to him, so he can know who I was, what I was thinking, and how my fierce love for him drives so much of what I do. But boys will be boys, and often times, unlike girls, they cannot put into words how much mom means to them.
Maybe it’s because, like most parents, we think about what would happen if we were no longer there for our kids. Certainly that’s what happened to our dear @whymommy Susan Niebur. I think about how her boys will probably not remember her other than through her writings and the memories of so many of us who knew her. It’s not enough to replace a mom, but in what little time she had with her boys, she did more than most people to help them become amazing men.
I just finished reading a galley of an upcoming book that serves as a testament to the love between a mother and son. The End of Your Life Book Club is a memoir written from the POV of a son whose mother is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about how they forge a new dimension in their relationship through their shared love of books. Each visit to the chemo room at Sloane Kettering brings a new discussion about a book they have read, and the ways the book relates to what is going on in their lives. Books allow them to think, to dream, to put experiences into context, but most of all books bring them together in a way no other medium could. I will write a longer review of the book when the pub date approaches in the fall, but I had to mention this title because I know so many people who would love it. It’s for anyone who has felt changed in some way because they read something that moved them, and they wanted to share the experience with someone they love. You can also check out author Will Schwalbe’s op ed in the Times about the “book club.” I can’t tell you how many pages of this book I dog-eared to come back to and quote in a blog post. Mary Anne Schwalbe was a truly remarkable woman and Will’s memoir is a fitting tribute to who she was.
Watching the Tony Awards this year, I was moved to tears by Steve Kazee’s touching acceptance speech for his Best Actor award for Once. He spoke so eloquently about what his mom, who recently passed away, meant to him and paid a beautiful tribute to her.
I was fortunate enough to see Once on Broadway last night. I loved the energy and spirit that the show brought and was thrilled to see so many young people in the theater. It’s unconventional shows like this, Rent and Spring Awakening that, while they may not be everyone’s style, are crucial to bringing new audiences to Broadway, and I’m grateful for that. Steve was amazing in the lead role of “Guy” and certainly somewhere his mom is smiling.
I can only imagine that the strength and love these women possessed was passed onto their sons. The work that they do is a touching monument to their legacies and as a mom, it’s so wonderful to see sons doing right by their mommas.