Yankee Romance has been on my calendar for a while, and I’ve had a note to myself that I would write on the topic of mothers and daughters. (The book I have out this month is DEMON EX MACHINA, which is book 5 in the Demon Hunting Soccer Mom books, and as you might guess, the parent child relationship is important in those books).
So here I am now writing the blog, and sure enough, that’s my topic, because mothers and daughters are the only thing on my mind at the moment.
Today, my mother had a stroke.
I’m still trying to get my head around that new addition to my reality. It’s not as though I didn’t know something like this would happen eventually. I’ve seen my father face the aftermath of complications following heart surgery. I’ve mourned the loss of various friends’ parents to cancer or heart attacks. I’ve spent my life trying to get my mom to stop smoking because of all the horrible things that can result—and, apparently, did. (And thank you in advance to everyone who sends sympathy. It’s too early to tell exactly what the prognosis is, but I’m optimistic that she’s going to be okay, albeit faced with a long road of physical therapy).
So it’s not as if I’ve been blind to the possibility, but awareness isn’t the same as experience, and that’s true even if you’ve held your best friend’s hand through the loss of a parent.
The news of the stroke hit me hard, as did seeing my mom in a hospital bed, something I’d never seen before.
I’m not really qualified to speak to the mother daughter relationship other than as I’ve experienced it, both as a daughter and now as a mom. So that’s what I’m doing—talking about mom, vis a vis me.
As a daughter, it always felt like we were a team, my mom and me, and a lot of that probably stems from the fact that I was raised from the age of seven by a single mom. I was perfectly capable of amusing myself (or losing myself in books for amusement), but at the same time, I always felt like it was me and mom against the world, and I think that a lot of that colors the relationship between Allie and Kate in the demon hunter books. Though Kate is a single mom only for a few years, there’s a definite bond between the two of them, a proprietary tug that Kate feels for Allie that she’s both aware of and that somewhat shames her when she excludes her second husband (Allie’s stepfather) from decisions regarding Allie’s welfare. As for Allie, her world really is her mom, and when things (albeit weird things) start to shift that perspective, she has to work extra hard to keep her balance.
They’re a team, and that’s how I envisioned them even in the early books before secrets were revealed and the plot, as they say, thickened. (If you haven’t read the books, I recommend reading them in order. There’s all sorts of family stuff that unfolds over the course of multiple books).
I think (hope) that every girl’s relationship with her mother is special. I look at my own girls and wonder about the future and the relationship we’ll have. I wonder how being the oldest and the “only” for five years will affect Catherine as she grows up, being the defacto big girl onto whom much of the sibling-esque responsibility gets dumped (and that by a mom who has no experience with siblings!). I wonder how being the youngest will color Isabella’s perspective, and, yes, although I don’t have any doubts as to the solid steel strength of the bond between the two of us, I still wonder how the knowledge that she has another mother, an unknown birth mother, may affect her in the future. And how we’ll address that together.
And I wonder about my daughters’ relationship to me as they grow older, knowing that it will be colored in some part by the fact that they have each other, whereas I had no brothers or sisters.
I’m feeling melancholy tonight, thinking about ties and connections and relationships and love. Every mother-daughter relationship is different, and I cherish the one I have with my mom. And though I didn’t model any of Kate and Allie after my mother and me, I still believe that some of the essence of that shines through. At least, I hope it does, because that is one of the most important elements of those books to me. The family overall, and in particular, the relationship between those two strong women, one of whom is just coming in to her own.
I’m not in the habit of dedicating blog entries (half the time I don’t even do dedications in my books!) but this one is dedicated to my mom. I love you, and get well soon.
You can learn all about Julie’s books at her webpage, www.juliekenner.com. Her current release is DEMON EX MACHINA, on sale right now! Coming next month, Julie starts a new urban fantasy series with TAINTED, and though it’s not on shelve until November, Julie is podcasting the entire text of the book. Go listen at www.kennercast.com!
Please leave a comment for Julie along with your email addy. I will pick one winner at the end of the week to win a signed copy of Deja Demon.
Tales of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom
With her first husband possessed by a demon and her current husband spending way too much time at home, Demon Hunter Kate Connor is having one hell of a month...
In between demon patrols and teaching self-defense classes to the local moms, Kate has to deal with a teenage daughter who's gung-ho on being a demon slayer in training and a toddler son entering a tantrum phase that rivals anything from the pits of Hell.
And to make matters worse, ever since her husband Stuart learned about his wife's secret life, he's been practically smothering her with attention. That wouldn't be so bad, except that now Stuart's fired up to learn everything he can about demons, and that kind of research can get a guy former desk-jockey killed.
That's a lot for one suburban mom to juggle, but on top of it all, Kate has to find a way to release the demon possessing her first husband Eric without destroying the man inside. Because if the demon within Eric gets free, it just might be more than one seriously stressed suburban mom can handle...