She has two daughters and a foster son. We all did okay--my sis as a writer and editor and internet retail pioneer, my brother and me as teachers, and me as a teacher and a writer both (and also a cook for quite a while; I'm proud of that, too).
My mother was a bit of a proto-tiger-mom. I remember her telling me to try to imitate her still-outstanding handwriting when my fourth grade teacher complained about my illegible scrawl. (It didn't work.) She was as quick to criticize as she was to praise. She went back to work, where I think she was probably the happiest, when most of the moms we knew were still throwing bridge parties and baking cookies. At work, she was a powerhouse--an executive secretary in the days when such women quietly ran American commerce. Simply put, nobody messed with her.
I was the eldest, and I fear I reminded her of my hot-tempered dad. I was unladylike, I let both her and my dad know when stuff bothered me (and stuff bothered me a lot), and I wrote poems and stories. She liked it that I was imaginative, she said, but cautioned me never to write down anything that I really cared about. It would be used against me, she was sure.
So of course, at the age of 64, I am still writing poems and stories, and casting them out into the world, where they might be used against me--that is, if enough people actually read them. Insert bitter cackle here.
The one thing I do not know how to do is NOT WRITE.
Getting as old as I am frequently is accompanied by small amounts of self-knowledge, and I understand now that I am an introvert with a damn good social front, happiest behind my computer fiddling with words. I like to be left alone to do that in peace. I am married to a man who loves travel, and while I can build up temporary enthusiasm for its glamor, I have literally zero sense of direction and regard being on the road as a weird, higher state of homelessness. I want my study. I want my desktop computer. I don't even want to go out to dinner.
So of COURSE I am getting on the Amtrak for Washington DC tomorrow to swim against the tide of Inauguration Day crowds, somehow get to my hotel (good luck with that, me), and be part on the 21st of the Women's March.
I am doing it for my mom, whose tough love made me the woman I am today. I am doing it because it isn't just donkeys and elephants and the usual political circus this time. I am doing it because of the darkness I fear descending upon my country. I am doing it because of the men my mom worked for--the ones who should have been working for her. And for my main character in my YA time travel books, Bean. She's a little bit me, but not as much of a scaredy-cat. She'd do it. I am doing it for everyone who'd rather sit in her study and write, because I've gotten to do that--like, a lot.
So, off I go. Got me an Evernight Teen colleagues' Work In Progress to read on the train, and I'm thinking peaceful protest first amendment rights thoughts. God bless us, every one.