Mothers and Daughters

I’ve started watching Veronica Mars, only a decade after it premiered.  Well, close to a decade.  I’m enjoying it thoroughly, and I am looking forward to the movie now.  I want to see what a grown-up Veronica looks like.  Even if she does follow the Disney trope of heroine-without-a-mom, she’s bang up awesome.

I finished the first draft of my novel, and am proud to tell you that it more than passes the Bechdel Test.  I am also proud to tell you that my heroine a) has a supportive, close-knit family, b) has a supportive, close knit group of girlfriends, c) has a healthy self-image, and d) has a clear understanding of what drives her romantically.  She also has a good relationship with her mother, something we don’t see a lot of in female driven art.

After Destinee survives a car bombing, she and her concussion go home with her parents to rest in safety.

I snuggled up under Mother’s duvet and tried to sleep, but my wounded brain wouldn’t stop thinking.  I kept trying to make all the pieces fit.  Insurance, and romance, and murder.  Terrible.  And my business.  My business!  I sat straight up, my head seeming to take a long time to follow the rest of me, and for a second I thought I had gone blind.  For more than a second.  I groped around in darkness and cried out for my mother, whose hand came out of nowhere to pet me.

“I’m right here, Sugar,” she said, her voice full of wakeful alarm.

“Where?!  I can’t see!  I’m blind!”

When she laughed, I got mad.  “I am blind, Mother!  It’s not funny!  I can’t see!”

She was still laughing when she flicked on the bedside lamp, really deep, belly laughs.  After a minute, I saw what was so funny.  It had been early afternoon when I’d gotten into Mother’s bed, and now it was just past midnight.  All that time I thought I had been thinking and not sleeping, I had actually been sleeping and dreaming.  Whereas I thought only about fifteen minutes had passed, it was the whole day.  I wasn’t blind, I was just in the dark.

Mother kept laughing until she woke up Daddy, who was sleeping on chaise lounge in their bedroom and he asked what was going on.  She tried to explain, but apparently all her worry for me had manifested in hysterical laughter, so I said, my voice sounding a little huffier than I intended, “Mother is laughing at me because I woke up in the dark, and I thought I had gone blind.”

Daddy snickered.  “What?”

I repeated myself, and by the time I got to the last part of the sentence, I was giggling, too.  Pretty soon, the three of us were all laughing, trying to keep our voices down, but I’ll tell you what—I know all three of us were just so glad to have me alive that nothing else really mattered right that second. 

When we finally all settled back down, Mother spooned me up close and sang to me softly, just like she had when I was a baby.  Y’all, I love my mother.  I love my daddy, and my brother, and my granny, but I truly love my mother.  We fight like cats and dogs sometimes, and no one can make me as crazy as she can, but I love her more than anything.  She is special, and she is mine, and even though I’d nearly died the day before, I felt like the luckiest girl alive.

That’s how I feel about my own mother.  I don’t think anyone can make a woman as crazy as her mother can, but when you have a good mother, there is no one who will ever love you as much.  I am extremely fortunate to have a good mother, and every crazy-making moment is balanced out by how fiercely she loves me.  She is loyal, and faithful, and I can count on her.  There is not another person alive as dependable as my mother. 

A little later, Destinee has this to say: “That was all I needed to hear because if my mother says I am going to be all right, then I would defy God himself to tell her otherwise.”

I’m letting the story settle, then I have rewrites.  My goal is to have it ready to submit for queries by the end of summer.  Let’s hope I can keep a lid on it that long, and I don’t end up sharing 3/4s of it on this blog alone.  Problem is, I really like Destinee and think she’s a lot of fun.  I want to tell you all her story.


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