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!


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?

85 thoughts on “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother

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    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..


    1. 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!


  2. 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!


    1. 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!


    1. 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!


  3. 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?


    1. We didn’t spend much time in Nice, but poked around the older villages and went to Monaco too!
      Thanks so much Catherine! I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!


  4. 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! 🙂


    1. Awwww! Thanks so much Veronica! Lately, I have really relied on my mom. I knew this post was posted midway through the day, but I had to say something! I will give her a virtual hug…. 🙂


  5. 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.)


    1. 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!!


  6. 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 🙂


    1. 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!


  7. 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.


    1. 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!


  8. 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. 🙂


    1. 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!


  9. 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.


    1. 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!!!!


      1. 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.


        1. I think we have to be thankful for every day we have we our loved ones. Life is precarious and so much of the drama is a complete waste of time. I have learned over the years that the love and support of a few is everything!

          Hey. I heard DiCaprio is filming in my little town over the next 2 months. Life is very good. I will be getting lots of exercise walking around my neighborhood! Hahaha!


          1. You and I are in complete sync with the first half of your reply.

            I think Leo lives in downtown Manhattan. I’m pretty sure that Milton has seen him riding his bike. Maybe you will, too!


            1. I read where he is producing and probably won’t be around. Dang! I will keep my eyes peeled for Jessica Alba and Luke Wilson. Kevin Connolly is supposed to be directing this shindig.


                    1. You do realize that this marks the beginning of the end of Western Civilization. How do you take the leap from guys like Scorsese and Luhrman to this circus midget?


  10. 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.


    1. Thank you so much Alarna!
      I have similar memories. Your mom sounds wonderful! I think the fact that they were always there for us, makes all the difference!


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


    1. 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!


  12. 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


      1. 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:)


    1. I think it is hard to remedy the condition once it has set in. The continued effects of RBWSS show that you really “rocked” as a dad and still do!
      Sorry. I couldn’t resist!


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