Sweet Nothings

Maternal Instincts

My mother swinging me around, giving me a unique view of the world at an early age

Although I’m not a big fan of Mother’s Day and all its Hallmark-Crown glory, I couldn’t help thinking of my own mom whenever I saw the maternal-themed balloons, bouquets and jewelry billboards this weekend. She is not the kind of lady who covets jewels, new clothes or flowers, though, and this means all the gaudy decorations of the world only further remind me of what she’s taught me. Since giving birth, my mother has been a master of making something from nothing – she sewed almost all of my clothing herself, made popsicles, bread and every imaginable other food item from scratch, and even crafted homemade Care Bears and Cabbage Patch dolls for me and my sisters. She was able to camouflage any tight times by turning cash-saving projects into adventures, and yet one thing she never camouflaged was herself and her flaws. My mom taught me that being a woman isn’t just about being pretty and applying lipstick, and she showed me this by example – I don’t think I ever saw her wear makeup, wrinkle creams or something that remotely resembled control-top pantyhose. Instead, she painted her face to play make believe, let us dress her in our own zany designs, and sacrificed beauty rest to drive me to late-night theater rehearsals…

In short, I am the creative, resourceful person I am today because she is my mother. If I had the craft supplies on hand, I would make flowers out of origami paper and send them to her and every other mom out there who daringly teaches their daughters to be more than what they see in makeup ads and on the covers of magazines. Thank you, Momma, for teaching me to dream and create.

Just look at this stylin’ lady, who I know for a fact wasn’t even wearing makeup in this photo – not a bad role model to have as a young girl, eh?

My mom with a painted-on clown’s nose and a cake she expertly decorated like a clown’s face

Psst: Speaking of women who dare to be different, my friend L. M. Harter just launched a fundraising campaign for her new short film. The film, “Birth Mother,” is her directorial debut and is a girl-powered, action-packed horror movie unlike any other. L. is also directing my very own short film a few weekends from now, so by showing support for her film you’ll directly be supporting me. I encourage you to visit her fundraising site to check out her fun movie trailer and contribute to the campaign in any way possible.

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  • Reply Pat Oey May 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Yup, your momma is one amazing person. I’m honored to know her, and she’s always been a role model for me.

  • Reply Jennifer R. Coté May 9, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Isn’t she, though? 😉 You’re a pretty amazing and inspiring woman, too, Pat!

  • Reply Cookie May 10, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Love this Jen. I feel so incredibly lucky to have your mom in my life. Great to read a snippet of the daughter perspective. Terrific pictures – might have to bug your mom to see more. Good luck with your short film!

  • Reply Jennifer R. Coté May 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Thank you so much for the lucky wishes, Cookie! I’ll take all the eyelashes and four leaf clovers I can get in these weeks leading up to the shoot. 😉

  • Reply Cassie May 14, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Aw…these pictures are adorable! Your mom is the best….still need to get that frosted cookie recipe one of these days 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer R. Coté May 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    So funny you should mention that, Cassie – every Thanksgiving for the past three years I’ve written myself a note reminding me to get that gingerbread recipe from my mom so I can send it to you in time for Christmas. Then, of course, holiday craziness gets in the way and the cookies slip my mind. I’m writing myself that note now in hopes that four times (and a lot of advanced notice) will be the charm. 😉

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