I just returned from a visit with my Mom in Lubbock. One thing women in my age group seem to have in common is that we often have “issues” with her from whose loins we have sprung. This recent visit was harmonious, mainly because a lot of prayer went before it, I’ve learned the value of responding rather than reacting, and my husband consciously and valiantly ran interference while we were at ground zero.
It appears though, just from my personal observation, that women younger than the boomer generation have better relationships with their mothers, to the point that teenagers and women in their twenties seem to positively be best friends with their Moms, never far from cell phone contact or texting check-ins. Wahoo! I count this cultural progress.
But cultures vary across the globe, and finding the universal symbol for “the perfect mother” is an idea that doesn’t always translate easily. I heard of a man teaching English to Japanese students, trying to demonstrate the word “mother” by cradling a baby in his arms. The students didn’t get it. Then a bi-lingual colleague suggested another gesture — a fierce look and shaking index finger. Ah! So! Mother!
That certainly wouldn’t be the case in Mexico. Have a look at this article by Marilyn Davis, originally printed in 1999 in El Ojo del Lago. The article was recently re-printed in the sister publication here on the west coast, El Ojo del Mar. Again, from personal observation, I see Mexican mothers emulating that Guadalupe presence. It’s one of those things that makes Virgin Territory special.
PS — Bob Brock — thanks for the great image!