A group of gifted writers has gathered together at a new website that celebrates and gives voice to moms of all varieties. MakesYouMom.com publishes something new every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. At the helm of this new online publishing venture is my friend Laura Lynn Brown, author of Everything That Makes You Mom: A Bouquet of Memories, a book my siblings and I used to create a Mother's Day gift for our mother two years ago. Since Mother's Day comes every year, I thought I'd share this idea at the same time I pointed you to Laura's new site.
Everything That Makes You Mom is a gift book in which Laura has written memories and reflections about her mother as launch points for questions you can answer about your own mother. My sister and I started the process of filling out this book for our mother by meeting at a restaurant and going through the book, writing answers to its questions on a pad of paper. We took turns reflecting on the different questions and adding our memories. We ate a lot and wrote a lot. We laughed a ton. We continued on by emailing and texting about answers to more questions and sent my out-of-town brother a list of questions for his input. We didn't use all the questions Laura included, and we took liberties at adapting some questions to better fit our particular mother and sets of memories, but all her questions formed a wonderful place to start even if we didn't use all of them exactly as written. It shouldn't be surprising - but it often was - that the three of us didn't always have the same memories or the same answers to the questions.
We gathered up all our answers into one big typed document so that we could distribute them to grandchildren, and then we wrote the answers into the book pages. If we hadn't been collating all the siblings' responses together or if we'd all been in the same place at the same time, we wouldn't have gone through these multiple steps, but in the end we created a valuable document that tells a lot about our wonderful mother and our years of growing up together. More importantly, it tells my mother we saw her. This is what Laura's new website, MakesYouMom.com, is all about: seeing the mother you've had, seeing the other women in your life who have been like second mothers to you, seeing the mothers all around you, even the one inside yourself.
[Photo: taken of a page from the book my siblings and I filled out for our mother.]