Celebrating Mothers and Daughters
The relationships between mothers and daughters can be joyous, tense, rewarding and frustrating – and all of the above.
San Rafael author Andrea “Nicki” Richesin explores these complex bonds in her new book, Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond (Harlequin, April 2009). The essays, many written by best-selling authors and Bay Area writers, reflect on the challenges and gifts of being the daughter of a mother, mother of a daughter and the bridge between three female generations. There are SuperMoms, suicidal moms, mothers who are dying and mothers who wait until their children are grown to really live.
Richesin, who is also the former owner of the short-lived Playdate Café in San Anselmo, has a 5-year-old daughter, Lily Warwick. Richesin and some of the essayists will read from the book May 4 at Book Passage in Corte Madera and May 7 at Books Inc. Opera Plaza in San Francisco. For more information, visit nickirichesin.com.
What did you learn from the book?
I guess I learned that I’m a little hard on myself. Most mothers are. They feel stretched in every way possible and ask themselves, “Am I doing everything I can?” We spend too much time worrying. We should appreciate we are being good parents.
Which essays speak to you the most?
Katherine Center writes about her mother who was a SuperMom. She felt like she was an imposter and her mom was the real mom. I’ve felt that at times.
Susan Wiggs writes about when she was a young mom trying to make it as a writer and her daughter was bugging her and she tells her not to bother her “unless your eyes are bleeding.” But she realizes that just by showing her daughter she is hungry in her art, she is being an important role model for her. I feel guilty sometimes when I’m working. It helped allay some of that guilt for me.
What does your mom think of the book?
She hasn’t read it yet. There are things about it I’m not sure she’ll be comfortable with me sharing – like how she was pregnant on her wedding day.
It was a big secret in my family, but I felt I had to be honest. I didn’t find out until I was too old, like 14. My friend did the math. Math was never my forte. I felt like such an idiot.
I’m not going to tell her. I’ll let her read it and see what she says.
– Janine DeFao