Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mothers & Daughters

One of the aspects I like to incorporate in my stories are families and more specifically, the mother/daughter relationship.

Women are powerful beings. Imagine, they hold humanity and life in their hands - er, womb. Well, you get what I mean. What could be more powerful than that, except when they birth a girl? It's the most visual representation of humanity's continuation. It's like when Queen Hipolyte birthed Diana, Princess of Themyscira...Sorry, geek Wonder Woman moment. (I spent a lot of third grade wearing the Wonder Woman headband.)

Any-who. Where was I?

Oh, yeah. Mother/Daughter relationship. Powerful beings. Got it.

After a woman births a baby, that good old Oxytocin kicks in and she becomes a mother lioness. And the lessons from one female to another begins almost immediately. Yeah, the daughter doesn't really know what's going on, and the mom might not overtly know either, but it's happening. The mother teaches through her very actions what kind of woman she wants her daughter to become. It's instinctual. (Just like they teach their sons, but this is girl's day...sorry Jmo.)

The era, culture, social rank, perception of their own raising, etc, will dictate what expectations a mother has for their daughter's grown up life. At times, it can be an odd, contentious, co-dependent relationship.

Daughters will spend the formative years mimicking mommy as much as possible. This is the time where they get their baseline characteristics. Say the first 12 to 13 years (give or take, pending). After that, their hormones start to kick in...their superpowers if you will. The urge to understand and become their own woman, whether it's to strive to be like mom or strive to completely unlike mom.

For the next generation or so, depending on you and your daughter's personalities, life will either be a constant episode of Dallas or as cold and tense as US and Russia during the peak of the Cold War.

If we're lucky, our daughters will finally come to terms with who they are, and accept you for the woman you are. And vice verse, you will come to terms with your little girl being a woman. At that point the tribal instinct kicks in and you become companions, mentor/mentee, and potentially you'll reach a friendship of sorts.

In my latest release, Revelations of Tomorrow, mother Noah Bonney is trying to reconcile with her daughter. Her own shame, for her people and her past, builds a wall that she can't figure out how to break down. Luckily for them both, Noah's vessel slams into a vessel carrying Jetta McCree and begins their journey into Noah's past. This helps Noah come to terms with herself and open up to her daughter, Brenda.

Below is a scene from Revelations of Tomorrow, which is the first book in the Telomere Trilogy, which showcases the dynamic of Noah and Brenda.

Her young girl had wanted to be a physician since her first scrape, when the vessel doc bandaged her. The whole time she'd interrogated the poor man with question after question. From that moment on, she'd shadowed him and when he retired, the replacement. The dogged determination did her well when she applied for and was accepted into medical school.

Noah had missed her sorely during that time. The feeling had not been reciprocated, she remembered. The tension came back into her shoulder and the light dimmed in her heart. Brenda had enjoyed the freedom from her. It'd been a selfish act of desperation when Noah had bullied all the other captains to keep them from accepting Brenda on their crews. The last year of icy and distant relations with her daughter had been the ongoing punishment.

Brenda reviewed the chart again and then tapped it closed. The image dematerialized and shrunk into the network encased in the bed frame. "I've given her something to wake her a bit, but please don't keep her too long. She needs rest." She tucked her access pad in her smock pocket and moved toward the door without once meeting Noah's eyes.

"Brenda. We have to talk." Noah checked the desperation and strain in her voice. More, she wanted so much for it not to exist.

With rigid shoulders and her hand still rested on the door frame, Brenda replied, "I'm not ready." Emotions choked her words.

"The ceremony is approaching, Brenda. We need to prepare." Noah grabbed the patient rail to hide the tremble in her hands and steady her shaky legs. It's not what she wanted to say, but those words wouldn't come out. She wanted to hug her, but that wouldn't come out either.

"I'm not ready," Brenda said, a little stronger.

She departed, leaving Noah alone with the injured woman. Tears burned her eyes.

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  1. Your post is wonderful. After many sons, I had a daughter. OMG. A bundle of joy, later o tear my hair and heart out and now she is my BFF with her own daughter, my grandest granddaughter.
    Success in your writing career from one author to another.

  2. Thank you Charmaine! I'm glad you liked the post. It's wonderful that you and your daughter became BFFs. And you get to experience your granddaughter to!

    My daughter is a teenager and I'm still at the "tearing my hair out" stage, but there are glimmers where I see we'll be friends later on. She's such a spunky adventuress.

  3. My mother is my best beta reader for my work, and she always asks the same thing about every story: "What about the mother?" It doesn't matter if the hero and heroine's parents aren't relevant to the work at all. For my mom, the mother is the most important character, so I'd better at least mention her, lol. We women and our relationships with each other are very powerful. Just look at how we refer to the greatest forces: Mother Nature, Mother Earth, the Mother Planet. Go moms!

  4. LOL, that's funny Allie! As a mom, I get her point (heehee). Ooh, you are so right about the greatest forces having a mother title! There is such a strength and power in the nurturing force of women. And a group of women together can be both exhilirating and a little scary (at least from what my husband says).

  5. I love SFR with family relationships and particularly like you mother and daughter. I'm the mother of three teen daughters and the teen years are choppy water to navigate through. But despite the drama and sheer business of their lives I do glimpse the relationship we forged in the early years, that bond that will keep us together through the coming years.

  6. As the mom of two VERY different daughters born VERY close together - wow, is this spot on! Each day was a challenge not bad, but each one needed to be mothered differently, as I suppose all children do - but daughters do bring out the "lioness" and as with my hubby - the 'Lion'. Great excerpt.

  7. @ Melisse, thanks! Oh wow, 3 teenage girls?! I have one and she equals (if not surpasses) the energy of all three of my boys.

    @Linda - Thank you. I get you with the different mothering. Each of my child need a different sort of approach. And even though my daughter is a tough cookie, her father and I are very protective (over protective).

  8. What timing you have! My current WIP has as a framework a mother telling her grown daughter her life story (aka romance). It's weird to watch the relationship evolve under my fingers--not exactly the one I have with my daughter or the one I had with my mother. You're right about the lioness. But that's another story.... Meredith

  9. Ooh, M.S., that WIP sounds interesting. I always love the storytelling approach. will have to share the lioness story sometime...My interest is piqued.

  10. I was talking to a mother of four boys on Friday. She had kept trying for the girl and oh boy! Literally, oh boy, after oh boy after oh boy. I came up with the concept that if you only have boys then you talk to them, really talk to them and your relationship is just as strong. Those boys become talkers and thinkers and romantics and understand the machinations of the female mind...well try to. Why do I say this...because I see so many parents with a boy and a girl or two boys and two girls, the father takes the boys and the mother takes the girls, the weekends are split, the mother turns harshly to the boy and admonishes him publicly, then turns to the girl with dulcit tones. I don't know what the perfect combination is. The combination of children you are graced with is a blessing in whichever permutation, to be cherished. I heard a quote yesterday...nothing can grow without patience. If I am the lioness then they are little lion men. No girl have I, a little princess would have been wonderful, but I remain the sole queen with my princes. That's the way it has turned out and what a turn out. my mother-in-law keeps reminding me..."Some Day three daughters-in-law you will have."
    God bless you Charmaine for your beautiful heart. Kirsty