Decided that I needed to start producing content for my blog other than just reviews, and I thought what better way to do that then hook myself up with a weekly meme. Not that I’ll be doing it every week by any stretch of the imagination, but weeks when I have the time and feel the urge, I’ll be there! This week’s top 10 Tuesday is top 10 anything relating to moms. I decided to focus on loving and/or supportive mom’s in literature, and given how many books either have absent mom’s (usually due to death) or crazy moms, this was more difficult than you might think! I also don’t read books about moms so I had to go back to things I’ve read and really think about what roles the moms had. As a result, I really did fall back in love with some of the moms listed in the books below.
10. Marmee from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – I don’t remember a ton about this book, as I read it a long time ago, but Marmee is the rock and moral compass of the Little Women crew. Sidenote: After I read this book, I tried calling my own mom Marmee. It annoyed the hell out of her, and as a result of all kids being at least a little bit bratty, I continued calling her that sometimes, even knowing her feelings towards it. Yup, I was THAT kid. (thanks <strike>Marmee</strike> mom)
9. Minnie and Abilene from The Help – Even though their motherhood or motherly affection are not a focus of the movie or book, the two seem to be exceptional mothers. Minnie wants the best for her kids, and its safety for her kids that gives her the strength to leave an abusive situation. It’s clear that Abilene loved/loves very dearly her now dead son, but now she pours her love into the children of the white women she cares for (and she has cared for many of them). If you’ve seen the movie or watched the book, you might remember the scene where she is talking with May Mobley and has her repeat, “you is smart, you is kind, you is important.” This is because May Mobley is not loved by her mother, and she wants “Maymo” to grow up feeling she has a sense of self-worth. Abeline also teaches Maymo many basic skills and tells her “secret stories” to try and reduce the chances that she’ll grow up like her mom.
8. Mom from Love You Forever by Robert Munsch – This is the only children’s picture book on this list, and if you are a Canadian child who grew up in the 90s, chances are you know this book. No one can deny that the mom in this book loves her son a TON, as she can’t stop singing about it and rocking her child to sleep as he grows up, even when he is driving her insane during the day. I think the point is that love never ends, and that love transcends the generations. There are some people who read this and think the mom is too overbearing (read: stalkerish), and reading it as an adult, I do have to agree, but it’s still a book that emotionally sucker punches me much of the time when I re-read it.
7. Molly Weasley from Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling – Obviously I don’t need to summarize Harry Potter in any way, shape or form, but let’s talk about Molly for a hot minute. Molly is strong, feisty and loving. She already has 7 kids, all of whom she lovingly knits sweaters for Christmas, and then when Harry comes along she immediately adopts the role of loving step mom. Not to mention, this women is not afraid to fight and “not my daughter, you bitch” followed up by a fight with Bellatrix was one of the best scenes to ever grace the Harry Potter books.
6. Dr. Katherine Murry from A Wrinkle in Time series by Madeline L’Engle – I read this quintet at the end of last year, and when I first started thinking about supportive moms, she came to mind. Although her daughter Meg starts the series with low self-esteem and self-worth, she’s always there trying to guide her daughter, telling her that things are going to be okay and that nothing is set in stone forever. She’s incredibly smart and beautiful, but also accepts her daughter the way she is and shows a quiet and calm kind of understanding for many things that happen in the book. I also like that she makes stews on a Bunsen burner XD.
5. Ikuko Tsukino and Queen Serenity from Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi – Usagi Tsukino (or Princess Serenity) is a unique character, in the sense that she has two moms. She has her mom from her past life, and her mom now. Queen Serenity is seen very little in the manga or on screen, but it’s clear that she cares a lot for her daughter, and even made the ultimate sacrifice for her and her fellow senshi to be reborn on earth. Ikuko Tsukino doesn’t know the half of what goes on in Usagi’s life, but is kind and motherly and always wants the best for her daughter. Sometimes that leads to Ikuko scolding Usagi for her poor academic performance, but if you’ve read the manga / watched the anime it’s really clear Usagi could be doing much better in the marks department, so I don’t really blame her.
4. Marilla Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery – I’m going to cheat a bit with this one and also talk about Matthew, because let’s be real they were pretty amazing adoptive parents for Anne, but they worked as a unit. Marilla is certainly the sterner of the two, guarding her feelings more and focusing more on teaching Anne manners, sewing and cooking. She believes in being frugal when it comes to clothing, but thankfully some of that stringent/strict nature that reflects more her own personality than Anne’s, melts away when Matthew buys Anne a dress with *gasp* puffed sleeves! It’s hard to see through Marilla’s strict exterior at times, but it’s very clear that she loves Anne and can’t imagine her life without Anne in it. The two become quite a bit closer after a pivotal event happens in the story. Matthew is also just about the sweetest man that ever lived (at least when it comes to Anne, a fellow “kindred spirit”) and I love how Montgomery turns tropes on their head a bit by making Matthew the one that wears his heart on his sleeve much more (again, just when it comes to “his little girl”). Sometimes Marilla might be confused by some of Anne’s antics, but she never seriously tries to change aspects of her personality, except things that will make her better in the long run, such as her temper and penchant for making silly mistakes.
3. Mom from Tell me It’s Real by TJ Klune – Both the mother and father in this book (and the subsequent book) are incredibly hilarious and ridiculously supportive. In fact when Paul Auster came out, he found his parents to be embarrassingly over the moon practically over-accepting of his homosexuality. They talk about gay culture related stuff all the time and always embarrass him, but it’s so clear that they just want him to be happy. Honestly the super supportive family in Tell me It’s Real was my favourite part of this book. ❤
2. Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White – When Wilbur is set to be slaughtered, Charlotte, the clever little spider that she is, concocts a plan for Wilbur to be saved. She eventually succeeds at making Wilbur an invaluable member of the farm, who’s life will always be protected. While she is Wilbur’s friend, in some ways she is also his mother. She mentors him and tells him that everything is going to be just fine. She also increases Wilbur’s confidence in himself, and ultimately, even when she passes, she leaves behind a legacy and future spiders for Wilbur to befriend.
1. Mrs. Frisby from Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien – What’s amazing about Mrs. Frisby is she is just an average mom, living her life when something horrendous happens. She has to go on a journey that would be a scary feat for anyone, and she does so while being brave and selfless and pure. Like so many moms around the world, she isn’t doing any of this for her own selfish reasons, it’s all for her family’s wellbeing. Kudos to you Mrs. Frisby!