By: Luscious Mother
Hello all you Luscious Mothers, you heroes on the homefront!
With our latest offering Forgiveness: A Mother/Daughter Workshop right around the corner, Sarah and I have been talking a lot about our own relationships with our mothers. She has an outstanding relationship with her mom and workshop co-host, the Luscious Grandmother, Sandy Cote. And I have to confess, ladies, I’m a bit jealous.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my own mother, muchly. But for the first three decades of my life, there was another relationship that got squarely in our way: I spent most of that time trying as hard as I could to be my father’s daughter.
As a girl, I loved Greek mythology, and my favorite story was the tale of Athena’s birth. While Athena’s mother, Metis, was pregnant, an oracle warned Zeus that their first child would be a girl, and her second would be a boy who would overthrow and destroy him. Fearful of losing his power, Zeus did what any selfish and angry deity would do: he ate her whole. And then from her mighty father’s forehead sprang Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and War.
Daddy’s little warrior princess. What a badass! Hera could keep her home & hearth. Aphrodite could waste her time on the machinations of love. I was ALL about Athena. Why?
I worshipped my dad. I wanted to be *just* like him. Think like him. Tell long, curving stories, like his. To know how everything worked and what all the answers were. To be known and respected by everyone, greeted with handshakes and smiles. To be in charge. Like my dad.
I was fueled by basking in the glow of his hard-earned praise. When he laughed at my jokes it was like a golden lightning bolt sent from Olympus on high, right into my needy soul, cementing my status as a demi-goddess of comedy.
But in all the years I fancied myself a earth-bound humor-infused Athena and cast my father as a heroic “Zeussical” role model, I never stopped to consider the eating of Metis. The consumption of the mother.
I love my mother, but I never admired her in the same way I did my father. She is beautiful, kind, empathetic, wise, and took great care of me and my siblings. And she got ZERO credit for it. My father was the boss, the star, the first and final word, the keeper of the keys, the holder of the purse, His Dudeness of Catholic Dogma. And for 36 years, my mother sat opposite him in his favorite pulpit, the head of the dining room table, and was never able to finish a single sentence or tell her own story.
The year I turned 30, the same year I got engaged to my husband, my father left. Boy howdy, did he leave. He left my mother; he left the Catholic Church; he left the country; he left the continent. All his foundations and rules, his dogma, even his “way,” all sloughed off as he flew across the Atlantic. He left behind a sad tumbleweed of righteousness. A dried up artifact. A myth.
He has a new family now. A wife. And another son. Who is younger than my son.
Not unlike Athena’s parents, my father ate my mother. But he did it in tiny bites. Over their history. And I am ashamed to say, I didn’t see it. Because I was so focused on pleasing him. Disconnecting myself from my own feminine side, the solace I might find in close female relationships, the shelter and nurturing I might have received from my mother, if I had allowed it.
I know I am not Athena. And my father is certainly no Zeus. But what I’ve discovered is that in her own way, my mother is a goddess: patient, kind, loving, selfless, resilient. And she is here, on this continent, in my childhood home, just an hour from where I live now. I have time to know her more intimately. Our relationship has some rough edges, and there are plenty of things we still have to forgive each other for, but reconnecting and loving each other more deeply is possible.
And this is what brings me back to our workshop, and why we have placed forgiveness as its defining characteristic. All the details of the event are available on our website, but no matter the context of your own relationships to your mothers—or your daughters—chances are there’s something in there that could use a little healing. I bet even Sarah and Sandy have found a pea or two under their mattresses over the years.
I’m sure there are plenty more fathers’ daughters like me out there, but whatever the reason, if this opportunity speaks to you, I hope you’ll consider joining us—alone or with two (or even three!) generations—on Friday evening and Saturday, February 27 and 28.
With big love and a whole lotta Lusciousness,
Anna & Sarah
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