by Ann Robson

“Call your mother …. She worries.”

This sentiment can be found on many plaques, from rough wooden ones to lovely china ones. It is also found in greeting cards. Where it really matters, however, is coming from the mouth of a mother to her child.

In these modern technical times, my daughter and I have adopted a regular pattern of texting. Hers always begin with “safe and sound in …” I can then relax and have a good sleep. She usually checks in between 7 and 8 p.m. and if there’s been no word by 10, I do begin to worry a little. By 11, I’m more than a little worried. Realizing this, we now have a fallback text in which she says “running late, will text when I stop.” With a sigh of relief I text back “10-4,” the now outdated phrase from CB days which meant that everything is OK.

Lest you think I’m too demanding expecting a nightly text, my daughter is a truck driver and at any given moment can be anyplace in the United States or Canada, so it’s a necessary connection for peace of mind. She also wants to be sure everything is well with her aging parents.

A lot has been made of the mother-daughter connection in art and literature for centuries. A recent Pew poll found that the mother-son bond is strong as well but for some reason more attention is given the mother-daughter one.

As the mother of one daughter, I don’t know about any other bond. I do get hints from my twin nephews with whom I feel a strong reciprocal connection and am grateful for it.

There are several publications suggesting “Trips you must take with your daughter before you die.” What a depressing thought: we must make a list and check it off as soon as possible, just in case. 

In our case we took many trips as a family, leaving very little undone.  I’ve been told that I can’t go to the Galapagos unless she comes along. I don’t see a lot of bonding on such a trip but I do hope she gets there sometime. A nice post card will be all I need.

We did have a three-generation grandmother, mother, daughter trip to Ireland to celebrate Nana’s 80th birthday.  We all learned wonderful things about each other, about Ireland and about traveling together.  It was a very special trip.

Now, where to next? We’d enjoy Las Vegas together. There’s always Paris. Or what about Biltmore during the holiday season? A return visit to the Grand Canyon would be fun and while we’re in the area there’s always Yellowstone and Old Faithful. What about a long weekend in San Francisco? We really don’t have to go far. Someone who spends her life driving appreciates some quiet down time now and then.

The real connection doesn’t have to be face-to-face, just heart-to-heart.  Motherhood has many challenges from the first moment you see her until the last. The world around us is moving and changing so quickly that today’s mothers have a very hard job. If they can grab any ‘social’ time with their child or children, those moments are treasures to get you through any rough spots.

My favorite quote about motherhood: It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love. Thanks to our mothers, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, aunts who were like mothers, and anyone who plays a motherhood role.

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Ann Robson is the author of “Over My Shoulder: Tales of Life and Death and Everything In Between.” She can be reached at overmyshoulder@charter.net .