My Mother Travels Solo for the First Time

posted in: Mother, Travel, Food | 0

MotherLode, MommyLore, MamaLog

Years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, my mother took her first solo trip “aboad.” There I sat stewing in Minnesota while she flitted along the Rhine, across the Alps into Italy and back to Austria. Her letters, sent “round robin” from my sister to my father to me, oozed food ecstasy. “All my calories,” she wrote before the opera in Vienna, “in a torte from Demels, the famous pastry place.” Just like her, I thought, worried about my own weight-gain as I rode my bike to my last graduate-school class before the baby was born. “Food first.”
But what really ticked me off wasn’t calories. I wanted my mother to ask what was happening to ME. Instead she had cut loose, come untethered, and was having the time of her life, while I counted calories against a change I couldn’t begin to measure.
Eventually my daughter and I traveled some of the same route, across Germany and Italy. It was the summer after “Gelsey’s” freshman year at Carleton. A trip full of carping and teasing, tugging against a closeness which I’d never developed with my own mother. We encountered shocks and surprises which neither of us expected. I saw through my resentments against my mother to the beginning of acceptance. Today I’m calling the memoir, “The Monster Bag.” I’ve also titled it “Falling for Botticelli,” because though food for my mother and me was the argument of choice, for us, it was art.
Thus I begin this blog: MotherLode, MommyLore, MamaLog because mothering and daughtering in all their aspects catch me where I’d at. Politics, home cooking, earth watch, I listen for my connections to what other daughters and mothers are saying. Once bitten, the relation spreads through the blood.

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