I am so happy to be a mother. I didn’t get the chance to start being a mother until I was thirty, and then I had three kids in six years. Stair steps. Two boys and a girl. When I write my mysteries, time and time again I find myself writing characters who are mothers and also fiercely competitive. Frame of reference: I do live in the state that yielded the cheerleader mom who tried to murder the competition’s mother.
Who walks first? Who speaks first? Who reads first? Sadly, it goes on and on, all the way up to who graduates college first, gets married, gets a job.
My kids were never first at this stuff. Having a son with Down Syndrome really turned the old comparison thing upside down for us, but that ended up being a blessing in our life. Time to get off the comparison train. Let it leave the station. Turn around and look at that child who is holding your hand, wanting lunch, grumpy and out-of-sorts. Believe it or not, that is what it’s all about.
My character, Betsy went from being an overwhelmed single mom to the mother of three by the end of the Pecan Bayou Series. Even in book six, I kind of think she was still a little overwhelmed! She deals with the head of the PTA, pageant moms, boyscout battles, and learning to parent with her new husband, Leo. Still though, through all of it, even when her son cuts school to have a cigarette with the local bully, she keeps on peddling, working her way through every situation, never sure if she’s doing the right thing and always glad when yet another storm cloud passes. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart, but then again, hopefully it has a way of making you stronger. The best flowers are weeds from the front yard. The best gifts are made from construction paper and glue that has not quite dried. The best movies are the ones you take on your phone of your kid’s dance recital, band concert, and ball games.
Perfect? No. Wonderful? Yes!
So Happy Mother’s Day to my mystery-solving Betsy Livingston and Happy Mother’s day to all my readers. Now go put your feet up and read a good book!