It’s almost Mother’s Day, and in the spirit of all things maternal I thought it would be a good time to honor my favorite moms from some of my favorite books.
Here are my top five literary moms, in no particular order:
Molly Weasley from Harry Potter
Mrs. Weasley, matriarch of the Weasley family in the Harry Potter series, is the ultimate mother hen. With a big brood of her own (seven redheads!) she becomes a mother-figure to Harry as well. She offers up her house during the summer and vacations, throws him birthday parties, and–oh yeah–risks her life fighting alongside him in the ultimate battle of good vs. evil. Just another day being a mother.
Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web
A good mother is a guide, a teacher and a conscience to her children, and that is exactly what Charlotte is to Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web. She teaches him how the world works, protects him, and turns him into “some pig”. She never glosses over the ickier subjects in life but is still comforting. And that’s motherhood in a nutshell.
Mammy from Gone with the Wind and Abileen Clark from The Help
Sometimes the best mother isn’t a mother at all. “What gentlemen says and what they thinks is two different things!” Mammy tells Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. She’s full of useful tidbits on how to be a lady–not that Miz Scarlett ever took the mind to listen. And Aibileen Clark from The Help was the brightest spot in little Mae Mobley’s life, constantly telling her, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Aibileen’s relationship with the little girl in her charge was the best part of the book for me, and I cried unashamedly when they were ripped apart.
Marilla Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables
When Marilla takes in Anne–the orphan with a penchant for finding trouble who is decidedly NOT a boy–she takes her in with the goal of “raising her up right”. She is hard and firm but grows to love her Anne Girl in a way even she couldn’t have predicted. “I think you may be a kindred spirit after all.” Aaannnd…cue the tears.
Mama Bunny in The Runaway Bunny
In Brown’s lovely book for little ones, a baby bunny threatens to run away and his mother promises to follow him and find him wherever he goes–whether she has to be a gardener, fly on a trapeze, or even become the wind. It is mothering at best–even when her little bunny is cantankerous she lets him know she loves him and she will always be there for him.
There’s my list–who would you add?