Kathryn asked me to participate in the symposium on Mother’s Day and I got busy (being a mom in part) so my post is late. But here are a few thoughts:
Bill Buckley’s sister Aloise Buckley Heath, who had – deep breath – 10 children wrote some of the most charming, witty, and winsome depictions of family life and motherhood ever penned. Her collected works (she died tragically at 48) are available and if you are not totally charmed you are a troll.
In the movie world you’ve got to love Greer Garson in Mrs. Miniver – the greatest propaganda film ever made for our side. She is gorgeous and graceful and maintains a sense of humor and patience with her college-age son who comes home from university full of absurd revolutionary ideas. And because a great mother is ready for anything, she stands down a Nazi pilot who literally lands in her garden.
Finally, a bit more recent and newly relevant is the movie Sally Field made in the 1990s called Not Without My Daughter . It is based on the true story of Betty Mahmoody, an American who married an Iranian man without understanding the intensity of his Islamic fanaticism. By the time she realizes what sort of man she has married, she is in Tehran and he is unwilling to let her leave with her daughter. She faces a gauntlet of horrors and dangers to get her daughter out of Iran. A fine depiction of Iranian zealots as well as a tribute to the ferocity and selflessness of a mother’s love.