Embarrassed and Embarrassing Mothers

In a video clip posted on the new website for MAKERS: Women Who Make America, writer Judy Blume remembers about embarrassing her mother when she discussed female masturbation on Dr. Ruth’s talk show. “My mother was horrified,” Blume recalls many years later.

Perhaps because I was never a guest on national TV, I had few opportunities to embarrass my mother. In any case, it would have taken quite a lot. Like Judy Blume’s mother, mine was my “greatest fan.” Of course that did not deter her from embarrassing me on a regular basis, especially when I was a teenager.

On the eve of Mother’s Day weekend, a Hallmark bonanza long ago downgraded to a Verizon holiday in our family, I think of all the wisdom my unconventional, often embarrassing mother passed on to me and the other young people related to her by blood or friendship.

When my friends’ adoring, cuddly kids began to roll their eyes at everything their mothers said (fathers usually got a pass; mine certainly did), my wise and wacky mother gave them one piece of sterling advice: “Do not take it personally” and one profound insight: “Your mother is never more embarrassing than when you are 13.”

Read More: @ jwa.org

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