If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother

The relationship with our mothers is the most powerful bond we’ll experience. They have the ability to lift us up from the ground or to put us in our place. It doesn’t matter how old we are, we as children still seek approval. Nothing makes our hearts sing more than the words, “You can do anything,” or, “I am so proud of you.”

Europe and Courtney and Grandma 001 (2) …Or, “You’re in time out!”

There are many kinds of love. A mother’s love is our first love. It is the first human connection we make. Without it, many children end up with lifelong emotional attachment issues. I think I was attached to my mother’s hip. One of my earliest memories is being carried up the stairs. She held a bag of groceries in one arm and with the other, she squished me.

Being a mother comes with an assortment of hats to wear. A few of them fit more comfortably than others. We will outgrow some of them, but most are worn with pride.

europe and baby kelly 001 (3)

Shameless even back in the day!

(With Kelly and a bearded Danny)

I feel lucky to be a mom. I am very lucky my own mother is still alive and thriving.

There is no one who knows us better, knows what we are capable of and our limitations, but life surprises us all the time. Sometimes we exceed our own expectations and then Mom is there to celebrate with us.

Europe trip and Kelly 001 (3)

On the top of the Guinness Brewery in Dublin

The most wonderful gift is unconditional love. No matter what happens, nothing will destroy the bond I have with my mother or my children. It gives me strength when going through life’s challenges.

She always points me in the right direction.

europe and baby kelly 001 (2)

Lost in Ireland

When feeling like I may have overreacted or made a mistake, there is nothing like a mother who says, “That could happen to anyone. Forget about it now.” With gentle hands Mothers smooth our hair and wipe our tears even if it is from miles away through a phone call.

Sometimes Moms know when we are hurting and call us before we call them. How do they do that? There is a connection unlike any other.

We learn how to weather all kinds of storms through the help of our mothers.

europe and baby kelly 001

Cliffs of Moor parking lot

They oftentimes give us new perspective and something to ponder.

Europe trip and Kelly 001 (2)

Hanging out with statues in Menton, France

I can spot a new parent in line at the grocery store. They are the ones swaying back and forth from one leg to the other while waiting. This is a condition developed while trying to get newborns to fall asleep. It is what I call RBWSS: Rocking Baby While Standing Syndrome.

Moms pass along all kinds of traits and habits.

Europe and Courtney and Grandma 001

This shot could have been taken hundreds of times while driving through Europe. “Backseat drivers…” 

As a mom, I know we sometimes make mistakes. We are only human.

Europe trip and Kelly 001

Overheated or what? This shot was taken of Kelly indoors!

I remember feeling like my mother was the fairest in all the land. She still is!

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Happy Mother’s Day! 

All photos by Susie Lindau

Several were taken in Europe in August of 2001.

Do you have fond memories of your mother?

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84 Comments

Filed under Humor, Life, Photography

84 responses to “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother

  1. Fantastic post, Susie. I’m also fortunate to still have my mom. Love her to bits. :)

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  2. Awww. This was so sweet. Happy belated day to you and your mom!
    And RBWSS is so right-on. I STILL find myself doing that and my youngest just turned 21.

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  3. Darn good Mother’s Day post, Susie!

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  4. K

    What a beautiful tribute. :) Thanks for sharing! I hope your Mother’s Day was filled with love and connection.

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  5. My mom always imparts humor into an otherwise serious moment. Mind you, she’s not trying to be funny. Which only makes it that much funnier Here’s one of my all time favorite quotes, from when I was attempting to cure a broken heart and she was trying to put things in the perspective she knew better than anyone.

    “If it was that easy to figure out a woman, there would be no need for alcohol.”

    Mama Mia.

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  6. Wow! Loved the photos. I guess you come by your adventurous spirit honestly, huh? Your family looks like so much fun!

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  7. More than a little late to the party, but great post, Susie!

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  8. Perfect pictures to go with your comments! Loved this! :)

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  9. Wonderful! All of it! Everything! Thanks for sharing all that love.

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  10. I still have RBWSS and my kids have been too big to lift up for at least 7-8 years!

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  11. Beautiful Post – you guys have such a HOOT together – love that:) Happy Mother’s Day to you! I have been very blessed in my life with my mother and my two grandmothers that help reared and raise me. Then I added another mother (in-law) and grandmother (in-law) in my life – AMAZING how BIG one heart can be! Have a Great Week

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    • That is so great that you had such wonderful role models and nurturing mothers in your life! No wonder you have such a positive outlook!!
      Thanks Renee!

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      • They certainly know how to shape you and keep you in line if nothing else! Very strong bunch of women and being one of them, which gets me into trouble at times – ha! Self-awareness, self-preservation, self-esteem, self-confidence, being your self – very well taught by this very strong bunch of women too:)

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  12. filbio

    Happy Mother’s Day! What a touching tribute and the pictures tell the story of what a cool mom you have!

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    • Thanks Phil!
      She was always cool, in fact, my sister and I used to invite her to all of our parties! I consider myself pretty cool, but have yet to be invited to any of my kids parties! Dang!

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  13. Happy Mother’s Day, Susie! You’re such a beautiful Mum…. :)

    My fondest memories of my mother are the years I spent at home with her before I left for school. Learning my numbers and alphabet, being read to, helping her around the house and learning how to cook. She was a pretty nurturing mum, as a kid. Sometimes, that made all the difference.

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  14. That’s a lovely tribute to your mother and all mothers

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  15. What a lovely tribute to your mother. I feel the same about mine.

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  16. My mother tried hard to make me the girly girl I never was. Around the time I reached adolescence she gave up trying. I was so relieved. She was also very Catholic and a Republican. I’m essentially an atheist and my politics are deep blue. To her credit, she always had an open mind about gay people. Even though she was disappointed when I came out 40 years ago, she didn’t reject me. A year or two before she suffered the stroke that left her completely incapacitated for 9 years before dying in 1999, she visited me in New York (she lived her entire life in San Francisco). I made her dinner and we had our best one on one talk. I asked her to reflect on her life, and share what about it that was most rewarding to her. Without hesitation she said, “Having my children.” This completely took me by surprise. I thought her rock solid marriage would be #1. My dad was also sky high up there, but she insisted that her kids came first. I figured that was meant more for my sister, who was married, owned a house and had a big corporate job. My brother and I both had (and continue to have) an aversion to traveling on mainstream paths. She insisted that she was proud of all three of us, and was very happy that we were “all unique and interesting individuals.” That was nice to know. Had she had her health longer, I think we could have gotten very close, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’ll always be grateful that I had that visit with her.

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    • Wow V! This is worthy of a blog post! Your readers would love a not so lame adventure from your past. It sounds like she loved and accepted you more than you ever knew and what a blessing that she had the opportunity to tell you!
      Sorry I am sooooo behind. My kids came yesterday and kept me up until 1:00 AM!!!!

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      • Naaaaaa, this isn’t going to be a lameless LA, but I will tell you dear friend, whenever I hear anyone grouse about their mom, it does sting me a bit. Logically I know that’s not fair because every mother is different and there’s none out there that is quite like mine was. And I’m very lucky that I have a nurturing dad who completely stepped up to the plate when she went on the disabled list for that decade. Now his health is on the decline. My siblings and I are nurturing him as we mutually dread approaching orphan-hood at the collected age of 174.

        Hey, I know your plate’s been very full these days.

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  17. You have a beautiful family, Susie…., and family, you have a beautiful Susie!
    Happy Mother’s Day.
    Paul

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  18. God bless your mum and family! I love the photo in the parking lot (car park) in gale force winds, the umbrella blown apart! We blew through Colorado today via I-70, what a tough drive but great scenery. :)

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    • I love that drive!! It is right through the Rockies! Thank you so much John. The wind was ridiculous that day and needless to say we did not see the Ring of Kerry! Hahaha! Happy trails!

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  19. Happy Mother’s Day! I love that you made a fine little story out of your pictures, so cool! Many Guinesses atop your table and how fun to travel with the family. We too have taken a trip or two with my parents … hmm … maybe someday I’ll try to post one of those. Thanks :) My cards today were especially special. Seriously.

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    • I loved that trip and I still talk about it with my parents. That is great that you wee able to travel with yours. Those become very special memories over time!
      I hope you had a special day too!
      Thank you so much!

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  20. Love this! Beautiful writing. Hope you had a wonderful Mothers’ Day!

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    • Oh Wow! Thank you! I didn’t have much time as my life has been getting in the way lately, so I really appreciate that! My mom is still there for me, always…Have a wonderful week!

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  21. laketranslations

    Your posts are always so fun to read, Susie and your photos are truly unique. Shared on G+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day :)

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  22. E.

    I teared up while reading this. I know so many friends who have strained or problematic relationships with their mothers, and I feel blessed every single day that my mother is the woman she is. (Whew, tearing up again! I must be hormonal or something.) If (when?) I become a mother, I can only hope I can follow in my own mother’s footsteps. I can very much see aspects of her personality in me, and I’m grateful.

    On a less sappy note, those pictures of your family in Europe are amazing! My mother and I have been to Europe together a few times, and I can’t wait to go back with her (honestly, I really enjoy her company, not just the fact that she pays for everything – hehe.)

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    • I am so glad to hear that this touched you! I teared up when I wrote it. I have come to rely on my mom for so many things and nothing has changed now that she is in her 80’s…
      It sounds like you have a great relationship. You will love being a mom!!

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  23. Reblogged this on Veronica The Pajama Thief and commented:
    The bond between mother and child can never be broken. It is inviolate and neither time nor circumstance can ever take that away.

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  24. Happy Mother’s Day, Susie! What a beautiful essay… made me cry a little. I love the pictures too.

    All the best to you, your mother and the rest of your family. Give your mum a hug from me. xx <3

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  25. Mothers are certainly one of the best inventions of all time! Even the ones who simply aren’t that good at the job. As long as they try.

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  26. I think you have a number of traits from your mother!

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  27. So true and so profound. From life to the afterlife, our mother’s will forever the craftswoman of our existence. Beautiful post! Happy Mother’s Day Susie! :)

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  28. Your family is adorable, Susie. Happy Mother’s Day!

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  29. What a lovely post and cool photos to match. I’ve been to Menton when I was au-pairing. Did you get to go to Nice too?

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  30. Love all the photos…made me smile being a mother myself. Happy Mothers Day to YOU.

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  31. Susie – This is a wonderful tribute to your mother. I also remember a wonderful trip I took my parents on throughout several European countries – what great memories those are. Bless you for bringing back some of my own happy memories of both my parents that are now gone. Happy mothers day to you.

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    • I do treasure the memory of that trip. I am sure that yours was wonderful too! It was right before 911 so we snuck it in right before that atrocity and the nasty dive in the economy
      Thanks so much Sheri!

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  32. Your photos were hilarious!! What wonderful, fun memories.

    Deborah >

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  33. I love that you have such a close relationship with your mother. Mine was more turbulent: the kind words didn’t come to my mother as “second nature.” Over the years, she has mellowed and I’ve become a mom. I try to be encouraging to my son, to set firm limits, to teach him to be goofy, and hopefully just to know he is really loved. You are so loved, Susie. In real life and in the blogosphere! Happy Morher’s Day to you! Mwah!

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    • Awwwww! Mwah! Right back atcha! Thanks for the love Renee!
      I think all mother relationships can have their complicated parts. You are going to love having your “Happy House.” I credit ours with creating a lot of family time which made us a very close-knit family.
      Your son will be a huge success with a great mom like you!

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  34. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MY FRIEND..
    I have a shower hat like you and your hubby are wearing. The funny thing is what we put on our kids. I still have a 10 pound floor length french lace dress I put on my sons that I made when they were baptized. So many neck ruffles you could not see their face.
    I envy you having such a great family that is still alive. Hugs to all of you..
    HUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

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    • Thanks so much Linda! Looking back, I have no idea what I was thinking?? My kids were always overdressed.
      I love looking back at some of the outfits I dressed my kids in. Hats, vests, pants, and Courtney’s dresses and skirts all matching…Hilarious.
      Thanks Linda! Happy Mother’s Day to you!

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