Do you know what your mom as a little girl wanted to be when she grew up? Do you know if she achieved her dreams? Writing about your mom can be a fruitful exercise; you might discover unknown secrets about this woman you thought you knew. Mothers are so basic, so necessary to life, that we often take them for granted and see them only in relation to ourselves. But they too have individual lives with their own dreams and aspirations. I often ask this question of students and clients. The replies sometimes sadden me, sometimes gladden me. And them.
My own mom wanted to be a fashion designer. She grew up during the Depression, in a small mountain town, population around 300. All the ladies in town made their own clothes, and those clothes were made for utility and hard wear, not style. Little girls literally wore flour sacks to school, and one of those little girls was my mom. When she got to be a teenager, one of her favorite jaunts was to take the bus to the “big city” and flip through the fashion magazines in a drugstore. Then when she got home, she’d fill page after page with her own designs, trying as best she could to capture the style and glamour of the magazine models.
Mom didn’t get to follow her dream of fashion design. Instead she opted for housewife and mother. But let me tell you, she was a magician when it came to making paper dolls for me and my little girlfriends. What fabulous clothes those dolls had! I was famous all over the neighborhood because of my mother. I hope our heartfelt appreciation helped to ease the ache of not becoming a fashion designer. I think it must have, because when I think of her drawing those paper doll clothes, I remember her as always laughing.
What about your mom?