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Happy Mother's Day!

From a Daughter to Her Mother

By Barbara HagenMay 07, 2022

Back in the early 2010's, there was a TV series on NBC called Parenthood (an adaptation of the original movie of the same name directed by Ron Howard, who, along with Brian Grazer, were the executive producers of the TV series). I personally really enjoyed the 6-season series. The acting was strong, the directing spot-on, but what I most enjoyed, and the reason I bring it up today, was the writing.

There was something relatable to everyone in the various story arcs and the cast of characters. The writing of the show brought challenges, accomplishments, struggles, and realities intertwined with the nuances of being a part of a family, yet still with family dynamics solid enough to stand alone. You had the matriarch and patriarch relating to each other and their now adult children; the adult children, as siblings and as individuals, dealing with the various stages that come with adulthood; grandparents and grandkids finding connection; and even pet ownership is touched upon.

Whenever I watched Parenthood and these nuanced storylines, my own view of myself would oscillate, from daughter, to mother, to sister, to wife. My perspective and introspection were varied and enabled me to saliently consider the various roles I have in life.

What Today is About to Me

Most often when I have written a blog for all of you over these past couple of years, it has had a reading theme to it (this is ThriftBooks after all!) and they've usually come from my perspective as a mother of three, but today's blog will be different. I will not be writing about reading or books and I will not be discussing my role as a mother and a parent. Like a Parenthood story arc, today's blog will shift to a different perspective.

Today is all about my mom, Helene, and about being her daughter.

We all have different versions of moms and perspectives as children, whether it's mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, foster or adoptive mothers. Many types of moms, and many more types of experiences with moms. Here is my story, and my experience. I hope that while these words are personal to me, many of you will find something relatable in them as well.

My mother was an immigrant. She came to the United States from Montreal after she and my father were married (way before I was born). She spoke very little English, but she worked hard to learn not only English but also all about American culture and traditions. I can still remember the day she was naturalized and become an American citizen! By that time, she and my father had had the four of us kids. She was so proud of her new American citizen status, and we were all proud of her.

My mother supported me and my three siblings in all our various school and extracurricular activities as we were growing up, even though she was learning about most of them for the first time herself! My mother encouraged me to explore the world even at a young age and really ignited my love for travel and adventure. She fostered my sense of curiosity, encouraging my obsessive reading habit in my early formative years, and taught me commitment and perseverance. There were times when I was angry at her and times when I know I disappointed her. And trust me, there were many times where I disobeyed her and was disciplined accordingly. But that made me love her that much more. Not in the moment, of course, but years later.

You may be asking, "How does all this relate to ThriftBooks?" Well, the way I see it, my mother shaped me into who I am today, and who I am today is positively (I hope) reflected in the work I do for ThriftBooks. My role as Helene's daughter is then intertwined with my role as "keeper" of the ThriftBooks brand. In essence, our stories are intertwined: mine, my mother's, you, and yours. Join me when I say "Happy Mother's Day, Mom" and wish a Happy Mother's Day to each and every type of mom out there!

Read more by Barbara Hagen

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