Inspired by Alice Walker’s daughter Rebecca

I had been meaning to craft a post centered on motherhood and the things that, well things that Mama never told you about motherhood.  Call to mind those clever bits that circulate the web via Facebook posts or e-chain letters that list various and seemingly disparate jobs—psychologist, referee, super hero, cab driver— and then (betcha didn’t see this coming!) attributes them to being all in a days work for The Momster.

In my post I was gonna add some not so obvious jobs to the lineup like mom mower.  Yes, mom mower. This is when the materfamilias, as she advances through the domicile,  picks up what ever item lays in her path;  haphazardly thrown t-shirts, chip bags, drawings of villains called Dr. 5 brains, you get the idea.  Mom’s must mow down the clutter lest the whole lot of her family be overcome by it.

Another job that I planned to debut was that of undertaker.  Don’t immediately go to the macabre!  Lay off the Law and Criminal SCVILMNOP would ya!  But as a mom you will undertake.  There won’t be blood, but there will be dismembered Batman legs and Bratz heads.  While mom mowing you will come across these items and it will be your duty to inter them.  Wherever you choose to entomb them (trashcan or back yard for ambitious moms) bury them deep or your child will catch a glimpse of that green Power Ranger boot or detached Kung-fu grip and exhume it.  And they won’t wash their hands after.

Now that I’ve got that out of my system I’ll move on to the titular substance.  I recently read an open letter from Rebecca Walker to her mother Alice.  It detailed Rebecca’s upbringing at the hands of the famously feminist author.  I honestly mean no disrespect and I don’t wish to diminish Rebecca’s feelings but I’m not sure that I disagree entirely with the elder Walker.  According to her daughter, Mrs. Walker was of the opinion that “children enslave women”.   See definition of mom mower as further proof that this is true.

We are their slaves and they are ruthless Masters.  It seems that Rebecca’s problem stems from the ‘fact’ that her mom was so vocal about this view.  See, most moms feel this way but we try our best not to let our kids know that they may have arrested our dreams of being a tight rope walker or a snake milker.  Rebecca goes on to say that her mother, in a poem, referred to her as a “delightful distraction”.  I’ve called my children worse (no judgement zone)  and I love them with every fiber of my heart.

Mother’s were once people with aspirations that didn’t include the word potty or play date.  Then bundles of joy come into our lives and distract us from those aspirations.  At this point some devote themselves wholly to their idea of motherhood, some re-route their trajectory and some “take off to Greece for two months in the summer” all in an attempt to keep themselves alive.  Were some aspects of Rebecca’s upbringing extreme?  Yes I think so.  And maybe some day her parents will atone for that.  But I would just like to offer Rebecca this, for all her faults, your mother did find you delightful.   I hope its not presumptuous of me to say that that is evidence of her love.

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3 thoughts on “Inspired by Alice Walker’s daughter Rebecca

  1. yes, rebecca had an awesome childhood from my narrow point of view if for no other reason she has lots to write about. and she makes a living at it, have seen how much one of her writing workshops cost? and did u know that she doesn’t even speak to her mother anymore and that alice doesn’t get to see her grandchild? my view is probably skewed cuz alice is one of my favs. but rebecca strikes me as self involved and ungrateful,<-her unique childhood afforded her an ivy league educaton and a life of priviledge. oh and before my rant is through, i love ur writing, keep it up! that.is.all. love.ya.bye.

    • OMG Themb! You don’t know how much that means to me! A writer loves my writing! 😀 Yeah, I could sense that she was hurt but we really do have to do a better job at understanding our mothers. They’re doing their best.

  2. Pingback: Fight or Flight. Or freeze. | life on tuesday

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