Greg "found" me and my blog a few years back when he was in the process of writing one of his books.
We had a brief phone interview where we chatted about my amazing super hero mothering skills or the lack thereof. :-) As well as what I enjoyed and struggled with being a mother to girls.
And honestly, the timing couldn't be better considering the last post I wrote.
So without further ado, I introduce to you, the author of......
Mr. Greg Lang!
Big Little Moments
When I began work on this book (Mom's Little Angel, HarperOne, 2009) I expected to be told stories that would prove to be very similar to those I had heard while writing Daddy’s Little Girl, but with a feminine twist. As mother and daughter stories came in, however, I found myself scratching my head. Instead of tall tales of heroic rescues in the middle of the night, or of profound life-altering discoveries and revelations that emerged from unexpected moments while in unexpected places and situations, I heard something very different. True, mothers do at times wear red capes and leap tall buildings and find ways to leave indelible memories of a time when words of wisdom from the ages were shared with their daughters, but more often than not I heard simple, sweet, gentle stories of moms being, well, moms.
Daughter after daughter told me stories of moms who kept the home smelling like fresh baked bread, sautéed onions and hot apple pie, who could mend a garment while blindfolded or nurse an injured doll or stuffed animal back to health. I heard of moms who were the calming, predictable and steady force in the household, unassuming and at times behind the scenes, yet always ready, willing and able to step up to whatever the challenge at hand may be and even wrestle it to the ground if necessary.
I was also told stories of how becoming a mother led a daughter to look back with renewed respect and appreciation for the mothering that had been given to her, for the unwavering love, support and devotion that flowed from a limitless reserve, for the sense of self that, perhaps, I think I’m beginning to understand, only a mother can help foster in a daughter.
When I turned to my wife and shared my observations with her, she (I swear she did) made that famous gesture of her mother’s, tossing her open palm in the air and ever so slightly rolling her eyes but not before giving me that look that silently screamed, “Duh!”
And then calming herself, realizing her perplexed husband needed her expertise, Jill explained everything to me.
“Dads like to address everything with an action plan,” she said. “If something’s gone wrong, you’ve got to fix it. When you hear that either of the girls are mad or unhappy, you immediately feel like you must get to the bottom of it so that it can be repaired. Moms understand that sometimes girls are just in a snit with a need to vent, whine and wail. There’s no need of an action plan or resolution for that, just let them do it.”
Before I could point out the frivolity of such a non-action plan, she went on.
“Just look at the stories you’ve been telling me about. Moms are consistently doing what mothers do, day in and day out, providing, comforting and caring. Dads rush in and fix things or come to the rescue and get credit for large gestures and major decisions, but really it’s the moms who quietly maintain the equilibrium in a family. Dads succeed at so many big moments because the moms have already handled so many more of the smaller moments.”
In spite of all my thinking and scribbling, writing late at night after the others have fallen asleep or jotting down notes while waiting for a traffic light to change, probing my brain looking for the profound truism that would serve as the central theme of this book, it wasn’t until that conversation with Jill that it all became so clear.
I guess I should have gone to my wife with my questions in the first place. She is, after all, both a mother and a daughter. It was she who told me the role of this book was to reassure moms that their position in their children’s lives, especially those of their daughters, is secured by all the many day to day things they do. It is by a mother constantly being there, constantly doing for them, making loving and nurturing small but meaningful gestures an everyday event in their lives, the unending giving of herself, that gives her children roots.
And so it is – just as mothers and fathers play different roles in their daughters’ lives, they make different imprints, too. As I mentioned in the introduction to this book, I believe my relationship with Meagan and Linley is more than it would otherwise be because of the help and influence of their mothers. I confess that when I made that statement I did not fully understand why I held it to be true. But now, thanks to Jill, I understand it ever so well.
I once wrote elsewhere that daughters need moms because dads cannot be everything for them. I know now, better than I did when I first put those words to paper, that daughters need moms to help them grow into the wonderful women they have the potential of becoming. In my family, this is proven each and every day.
I hope everyone enjoyed this excerpt from Greg's book. I did!
Greg, special thanks to you for your time and for sharing your special gift with me and my readers.
Have a great day, everyone!!