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The Phosphorescence of a Two-Year-Old

020

 

You turn two today, my beautiful Lumen.  A couple of those 365-day spans have passed, and I am the most fortunate mother for having spent every single one of these days with you.

You, who only requires water to splash in, music to dance to, and open spaces to run in.

You, with your lengthy lashes, gentle eyes, nose that you’re proud to show me lately that you know how to pick, and that diastema smile and infectious laugh that accompanies it.  You, with your hair that is on its way to matching Dylan’s on the Blonde on Blonde album cover.  You, with your bear cub hands.

You, who jumps as if all the world were a trampoline, and runs as if receiving the silver medal was not an option.  You, who will attempt to climb walls, sofas, chairs, stairs, and over ledges, and when you succeed, almost always land on your feet.

You, who can’t stop giggling when you, your big brother Enlai and I wrestle and tickle in the bed.

You, whose favourite songs are Jay-Z’s “Dust Your Shoulder Off”, Aloe Blacc’s “I Need a Dollar”, the Alphabet Song, and Wheels on the Bus.  You, who likes to sing in your buggy as we walk the streets of London.

You, who is fascinated by Elmo, Peppa Pig, and Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom.

You, who could swing on the swings for forever, plus or minus a few minutes.

You, who enjoys destructing every tower Enlai and I build for you and then running out of the room before we can catch you.

You, who has no flaps left in your flap books because you’ve enthusiastically torn them all out, and who doesn’t like to read books in their page order.

You, who are so independent already, and cheeky to boot.

You, who has been through so much in your short life with allergies and anaphylactic reactions but remains the epitome of resilience, the embodiment of the little fella that keeps on keeping on.

You, who comes to me for cuddles, and who I never want to let go when you do.

At only two, you seem to possess a bendable light, a light that shines around corners and softens rough edges.  Without being aware of it, you offer to those who are living in faint light to lather themselves in your beams.  And to those basking in borrowed light, you remind them of their own lustre.  You are my sweet, sweet Lumen.  Happy Birthday, my love.

 

A Father and Daughter

Art in all its forms.  Visual arts, film, music, food.  Passions we share, my dad and I.  When we speak, the conversation will curve, and we will begin discussing philosophy and sensibility.  It bends again, and we become political commentators.  After a time, we loop back to colour, texture and lyrics.  Another turn and we are talking about our similar sensitive souls and then laughing at our love of sweets.

A few years ago, my dad sat me down to discuss his will.  It’s not a conversation any daughter is keen to have with her father, but I listened.  He mentioned a few assets, he mentioned my siblings, and he mentioned that he does not want to live past the moment when he is not meant to live and that he is relying on his family to recognise this moment.

I remember telling him that I was only interested in the art he has created and in particular one piece, a drawing of a nude woman sitting next to a window smoking a cigarette.

And now I realise that while I am still interested in his art — which is a vast collection because he is one of the most prolific artists I know, an artist who confronts life by creating — I am more interested in the here, the now, the conversations.

These conversations fill me, they carry me, they make me laugh when nothing else can, they make me trust myself, they make me hungry for life, they make me want to scream with written words, to pour my everything into creating, to understand, to love, to remember this and forget that, to hold on no matter how jarring the ride, to ask how the fuck did I get so lucky to have a dad like mine.

In honour of my dad and all the dads of the world this Father’s Day, here are some art pieces created by dads, depicting dads, exploring the relationship between a dad and his child(ren).

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, photograph taken by her father Guillermo Kahlo, 1919

The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit

The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, John Singer Sargent, 1882, oil on canvas

Lucian Freud with his daughter Bella

Lucian Freud with his daughter Bella, photograph by Bruce Barnard

Ella

Ella, Gerhard Richter, 2001, oil on canvas

Photograph of her father

Photograph of her father after Pinpin Co used a 0.38mm gel ink pen to draw on his face

Portrait of a Man with Three Sons, Barthel Bruyn the Elder, 1530, oil on canvas

Portrait of a Man with Three Sons, Barthel Bruyn the Elder, 1530, oil on canvas

Unexpected Return

Unexpected Return, Ilya Repin, 1884-88, oil on canvas

Grandfather and grandson at Manzanar Relocation Center

Grandfather and grandson at Manzanar Relocation Center, photograh by Dorothea Lange, 1942

Maya with her Doll

Maya with her Doll, Pablo Picasso, 1938, oil on canvas

Portrait of Lorenzo Pagans, Spanish tenor, and Auguste Degas, the artist's father

Portrait of Lorenzo Pagans, Spanish tenor, and Auguste Degas, the artist’s father, Edgar Degas, 1869, oil on linen

 

 

 

 

Lasering in on Lorraine Avanessian

I’ve had the good fortune to know Lorraine Avanessian since our sons could not even sit up on their own, with dribble running down their chins as they cut their first teeth, and often a bit smelly.  Babies poo a lot.  We met at story time at a local library, and here we are, seven years and two additional sons later.

Like many mothers, Lorraine had a career pre-children.  I am often surprised when fellow moms are in the midst of a conversation about sleepless nights, tantrums, and never-ending laundry, when something about their former occupation crops up.  I remember asking Lorraine something about my son’s teeth, and she responded in a way that wasn’t typical of a mom.  She responded as someone who knew teeth.  I mean really knew teeth.  It is then that I found out she had worked in the dental field for the last 20 years.

Having taken time out to raise her two sons, Lorraine is now back in the saddle, albeit a different saddle.  After spending several years in the world of dentistry, Lorraine has expanded her passion for aesthetics.  Always fascinated by skin, she decided to embark on a “skin journey” by enrolling in various skin health and management and laser treatment courses.  She is now a certified laser lady, or as my son likes to say, “She could be in Star Wars like Anakin and Darth Vader.”  Well, sort of.

I asked Lorraine if I could interview her to find out what exactly she does and why she does it.  Below is an excerpt from this interview.

From enamel, dentine and pulp cavity to unwanted hair, thread veins and stretch marks – what made you decide to transition from a career in the dental field to one in laser treatments and cosmetic dermatology?  I have always been fascinated with skin, and like most people, battled with a problematic complexion in my younger years.  Having already a clinical background and plenty of experience with people in a medical environment, it was a natural step to learn about skin health and treatments.

We all have heard about laser treatments, but what exactly are they?  Laser treatments are just part of what I do.  Whether laser or IPL (intense pulse light), it is basically a light that applies heat energy at different intensities and different depths.  This allows the clinician to target specific areas of the body.  Therefore it is possible to reduce or eliminate hair follicles, spider veins or pigmentation.  It can also cause heating of the deeper layers of the skin resulting in tightening and skin rejuvenation.  All of these treatments are virtually pain-free and non-invasive.

I assume it’s not a one size fits all practice?  Not at all.  Each treatment is tailored to the individual client because we are all different, and some clients are not suitable for certain treatments.

Is there a consultation first or do patients receive treatment during the first visit?  A full detailed consultation will always be carried out first.  Otherwise the correct treatment cannot be carried out efficiently and safely.  This involves obtaining as much information as possible about the client’s lifestyle, medical history, diet, current skin care regime, previous treatments, past and present skin issues, and most importantly, the client’s expectations of the outcome of the proposed treatment.  By the end of the consultation, the client should have a clear understanding of how the skin works in relationship to the treatment.

Are there any guidelines patients have to follow before starting treatment?  When dealing with skin rejuvenation, a good daily skin care regime must be established first.  A change in diet, reduction in alcohol intake, stopping or moderating smoking, and protecting the skin from UV rays and pollution with the use of antioxidants will make a huge difference to the skin for starters.  And any rejuvenation treatment following this will produce much better results.

What sort of skin issues benefit from laser or IPL treatment?  There is a wide variety of treatments, including permanent reduction of unwanted hair, thread veins, rosacea, ageing skin and pigmentation.  As well as laser and IPL, my Sharplight Ominmax system also provides infrared and radio frequency, and these applications provide treatments for skin laxity, cellulite and stretch marks with great results.

Thus far, what have the majority of patients come to you for?  Hair reduction is a very common treatment among both men and women, as well as skin tightening, but the majority of clients are interested in improving the health of their skin.

Why would a patient come to you rather than opting for Botox, fillers or cosmetic surgery?  People are more aware now of the side effects and complications that these invasive treatments can produce.  The treatments that I provide work with the natural potential of the skin to repair and rejuvenate itself, resulting in a more harmonious and natural looking outcome.

About how long could a patient expect to see results after treatment?  It depends on each client and how unhealthy or sun damaged the skin is.  Treatment is carried out over a course of several visits but even after completion it carries on improving.

Will patients look like Samantha a la Sex in the City after her “freshening” peel when they leave your office?  I can’t remember what she looked like, was it good or bad?  In any case, I hope she applied her sun factor 50 soon after.  Strongly recommended!

As it’s becoming more popular for male clients to enjoy skin treatments these days, Lorraine Avanessian is offering a Father’s Day treat at a promotional rate of £65 (normal price £95) for a skin assessment consultation which includes a city recovery facial – perfect for the city dwelling man.

 

Happy Mother’s Day to the Originators

I was an artist before I was a mother.  And in this pre-materfamilia time, minutes were more friendly for creating.  They were mine, and mine only.  They were quiet.  They weren’t tangled up with asks and wants and needs and toys.  They never hungered.  As an artist who is now also a mother, nearly every single minute is shared.  Even when my two sons sleep, they are slumbering in my psyche.

Since giving birth, my art practice has changed.  There is a force that goes hand in hand with motherhood, a vigour that has seeped into and often times bombarded my subsistence as an artist.  It has been both harmonious and hostile.

I look at art through two, sometimes three pairs of eyes now.  And while I was teaching art to children, I viewed art through eyes aplenty.  I see things I may not have previously considered, and I appreciate the sincerity, the unfiltered, inexperienced, non-formulaic art pieces my sons and students have created.  I relish in the fact that my sons have been exposed to more art in their young lives than I’ve seen in the last three decades.

I haven’t had the opportunity to create as much as I would like, but it’s all there, brewing.  Those hushed, lone minutes will return.

This US Mother’s Day, I pay tribute to all the mothers who are artists. and I salute the following artists who have chosen motherhood as a theme in their works.

 
 

Shira Richter, Push, photograph

 
 

 Amanda Jane Crouse, ceramic figures

 
 

 Louay Kayali, Mother and Child,  1973, oil on wood

 
 

 Alison Saar, study for Sea of Nectar, 2008, wood, ceiling tin, bronze and tar

 
 

 Masud Alam Liton, All About My Mother, photograph

 
 

 Catherine Haley Epstein, Wore & Piece – Ne Me Quitte Pas

 
 

 Sofia Kapnissi, Statues-II, acrylic

 
 

 Gertrude Kasebier, Lollipops, 1910, photograph

 
 

 Roshanak Ofstad, My Future Is in Your Eyes, photograph

 
 

 Montserrat Gudiol Corominas, Motherhood, 1964, oil on panel

 
 

Miriam Schaer, from the series Baby (Not) On Board, 2010-2013, red thread, baby clothing

Happy UK Mother’s Day – Body of a Motheress

Flaps of fabric at the mercy of a relentless wind or the invariable fluttering of ample bird wings. That’s what I heard when I listened to my son Enlai’s heartbeat for the first time while eight weeks pregnant.

I imagined his tiny heart beating inside the echo chamber that was my womb, thinking about how for a time my body would be host to two heartbeats, each beating at its own rate. Eventually, my frame would accommodate two of every organ, four eyes, eight limbs, and countless veins, arteries and capillaries.

The woman-to-mother metamorphosis, with panoptic physical changes, made me observe and appreciate my own form as I never had before. My wonder and respect for the female body’s capabilities has grown as I have grown, from being barely pregnant to a mother of a six-year-old and a 20-month old – its ability to conceive, to house and nurture, to deliver, to feed, to care for, to soothe.

I realised that I and my fellow pregnant women were all too oft required to surrender our bodies during pregnancy, not only to our unborn child, but also to doctors, midwives and nurses, to passersby on the streets. While visiting my midwives during the last trimester, I remember on several occasions having my legs open to their easternmost and westernmost points with my knees north, allowing latexed hands inform as to whether all was okay. As I walked along streets, into shops or onto public transport, strangers would touch my belly. My bump was no longer mine; it seemed to belong to anyone who found it fascinating. I never minded; I was touched by the touch.

While pregnant with my second son Lumen, I was more attuned to my body’s adjustments. I knew I was pregnant before an early predictor test could tell me I was. When I began bleeding in my first trimester and assumed I miscarried, my body was hinting to me to go slow, to perhaps listen to more of Miles’ Kind of Blue, less of his Bitches Brew. I learned that I developed a subchorionic haematoma, which the outer fetal membrane eventually reabsorbed. It is at this same time that a friend told me she had miscarried and another friend divulged that her son and daughter were conceived via a donor.

This is a woman’s body, when she decides she would like to have a baby, until the time her body says to her she can no longer have a baby – her blood speaks to her like the hands of a clock speak to the rest of the world, her fallopian tubes may reveal to her that her uterus will have to welcome the eggs of another woman, her abdomen may hint at loss of life, her skin may become discoloured, stretched, freckled, moled or swathed in bumps, her hormones may wreak havoc, her breasts may swell to the size of watermelons and then become saggy apricots, her hair may become as full as the girl’s in the shampoo ad and then fall out en masse. Her hairline might change altogether. She may be confronted with haemorrhoids, spider veins, or varicose veins. She may get a tingling in her breasts when it is time to feed her baby or a throbbing and fever when the baby wasn’t hungry. She may suffer pelvic organ prolapse, she may urinate without knowing she has. She may welcome prominent biceps from carrying this, and back pain from carrying that. Her foot size may increase. She may have new curves, loss in muscle tone and changes in fat deposits. And when her body wants to say to her that she can no longer bear her own children, she may cry, she may scream, she may be grateful for what her body has already given her or mourn what it could not.

Contemplating the body of a mother, I embarked on a project which entailed photographing mothers’ body parts. The initial concept was to document a change in identity when a woman becomes a mother, highlighting the forgotten, whether they are body parts consigned to oblivion by a partner or the woman herself when she became a mother. I gave them the option of telling me which part of their body they’d like me to photograph or allowing me to choose.

As projects do, this one evolved. While some moms offered their Caesarean section scars and the stretch marks on their breasts, bum and bellies, others asked if there was a way I could photograph their insides – “My insides are ripped apart when I see my child hurting. How do you photograph this?”

Throughout my sessions with these moms, I was reminded of Robert Frank’s words – the eye should learn to listen before it looks. My eyes listened. Just as my heart listened when I heard my son’s heartbeat. And when the eyes and heart listen, stories unfold. Stories of life lived and given. Given and lived.

 

My Breasts Are Better Than Kate Upton’s

With the amount of breastfeeding news stories in the media, what else could there be to say about the topic? Compare my mom boobs to a model’s jubblies? Maybe. Add that to a few other observations about the sweet suckledom, a subject which seems to invite the most opinionated, some of whom shock the bra straps right off me.

The first person – an elderly gentleman – to provide a mouthful on my own mammary glands proclaimed, “Oh, this is most inappropriate. You should cease this nonsense immediately.” I was in an embassy, and I began to breastfeed my 12-week-old son in what I thought was a discreet manner. Mind you, I never used a nursing cover – an apron-like garment that conceals the feed. I assumed that if I wasn’t keen to eat under a blanket during meal time due to a feeling of suffocation, my son probably wouldn’t be either. This gentleman – or not-so-gentle man – made me cry with his unsolicited comments. Due to still-settling hormones, and what felt like a betrayal by the breast is best campaign, I wept, tears falling on my feeding son’s cheeks. I said nothing to the man, but I wanted to say, “I make milk. The boob juice feeds my child, best stuff on the planet for him right now. It’s a bit of a superpower I have. What do your man-boobs do?”

The second time I was the recipient of comments of the anti-boobs-au-lait-in-public variety, I was having dinner at a local pizza joint with a friend, my five-year-old and my five-month-old. There were two other diners – a man and a woman – across the room from us. My friend asked if I heard the comments the man just made: “Oh that breastfeeding is putting me off my food. It’s outrageous.” I’m happy I hadn’t. What I found odd is that this man’s back was to me. The woman he was dining with felt obligated to inform him that there was a semi-visible breast in the vicinity. The man kept turning around, and it was after the fourth or fifth time doing so that my friend was tempted to say something. I finished feeding my son, we got the bill and we left.

There were other times when observations voiced were kinder, more innocent. When I fed my son Lumen in the playground, a handful of my older son’s friends felt compelled to gather around me as if I was Santa redistributing gifts that the naughty kids never received. Some giggled, others asked why I was doing this, and one young boy asked, “Does it hurt?” I answered honestly, saying that there were times when it was painful. He then asked, “Then why don’t you stop?” I responded, “There’s a little thing called sacrifice that mothers do for their children. And of course the meta-analyses of scientific studies of this milk that’s coming out of my breast and into Lumen’s mouth right now prove that his immunity is being boosted and that feeding anything else to him right now is more likely to make him ill.” The bemused little youngster ran away. One young girl, part curious, part frightened of cannibalism, shouted, “He’s eating her. Aaahhh. Run away before he starts eating us.” Read the rest of this entry »

Snapshot on Suzy Flood

Having been exposed to the work of photographer Suzy Flood and thinking it something very special – beautiful, sublime, haunting, timeless – I found myself asking her to photograph my son Enlai.

Her photographs of young children stayed on my mind days after looking at them.  I could see these children’s faces everywhere I looked.  Their gazes seemed to be fixed, and collectively, it seemed as though the children were amongst a group that perhaps lived in the woods, laughing, playing, singing, running around barefoot and climbing trees.  And they only stopped long enough to take a photo for Suzy.  Because of this, I imagined she had some sort of magical power over them.

Of course the children she has photographed are not Children of the Woods, nor is Suzy a magician.  What she is is a photographer who knows what she’s doing and, upon meeting the child, realises the image she wants.  She gets a feel for the child, allows him/her to reveal themselves and is patient for that revelation.  I asked Suzy if I could interview her to gain insight into her and her practice.  Below is an excerpt from this interview.

Despite W. C. Fields’ advice to never work with animals or children, you have chosen to.  What made you decide to start photographing children?  Crazy, I know but I think that’s the draw for me.  The challenge, the unpredictability and the amazing little people I discover during the process.  Kids are just incredible.

Can you remember what initially made you decide to try your hand in photography?  My mother had an old brownie camera and I was completely fascinated by it.  Most photographers say it was the magic of the image but for me it was all about the machine, the rest came later.

Do you think having a child had an impact on your approach to photography and the subjects that you chose to photograph?  Completely.  If you showed me a crystal ball ten years ago (my daughter is now six) I wouldn’t have believed what I saw — me photographing children?  Life is very funny. Read the rest of this entry »

Brain Frieze: The Art Edit

It’s no big secret that I love art.  I’ve put pen to paper – or fingertips to keyboard – about a variety of art-related topics, about how my father exposed me to art from a very young age, about exhibitions my sons and I have been to, about teaching art to little ones.

So it comes as no surprise that come October every year, as a Londoner, I get this giddy feeling in my belly.  I anticipate all the works that I will be able to see, all the art my sons’ pretty little eyes will be able to take in.

It’s not all about that miniscule art fair in Regent’s Park every tenth month of every year.  Frieze, I think it’s called.  It’s about the air in London for those whole 31 days.  It’s autumn and chilly but the sun still comes out.  There’s rain, but there’s a crisp day not too far away.  There’s half-term and Halloween, but above all, there is art.  It’s everywhere, hiding under burnt-orange and red-yellow leaves, beneath the tyres of black cabs, ebbing and flowing with the Thames, splashing on brollies, lurking in old stairwells and inside gargoyles’ mouths, and hovering in Turner skies.

The Frieze Art Fair is like the patriarch who invites his entire family of galleries – the distant cousin in Bogota, the grandchildren in New York, the aunt in Beijing and the nephews in Paris – to come to town wearing their best garb and showcase themselves as if they were Prince Harry’s “crown jewels”.

And like patriarch Michael Corleone, Frieze can be intimidating.  Especially if you’re a parent with a child whose attention span is…oh, did someone say pizza?  Or if your child is having a tantrum and in so doing, about to knock over an £8,000 sculpture.  This year, while I would like to take my boys to Frieze, I think that for health and safety reasons – my health, their safety – I’ll opt to take them to the Frieze Sculpture Park, as well as expose them to art at different white cubes around town, on alternate days.

It’s good for their being, this art stuff.  While at the “Photography, Motherhood and Identity” exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery (which runs until 5 January 2014), my six-year-old Enlai asked a lot of questions and made a lot of comments, including noting that Ana Casas Broda’s body was different than mine.  We talked about female bodies and how they may change after giving birth, and I reminded him that this is often how humans learn and make sense of the world around them – by comparing and contrasting.  And this led to a conversation about balance, about responsibility, about unconditional love.  All this from looking at one photographer’s project. Read the rest of this entry »

2013: An Allergy Odyssey

I look at pasta and baguettes, at pastries and ice cream with disdain.  In the back of my mind I know they’re inanimate objects, but when I stare at them, I imagine they are lurking with malevolent intentions.  When I walk past bakeries, I sometimes resent that alluring aroma that invades my breathing space.  And when I pass the nut section in my market, I get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I’m not worried about what these foods may do to my waistline; I’m the mother of a child who is severely allergic to multiple foods.

Months ago, my now 14-month-old son Lumen suffered a series of anaphylactic reactions.  I suspected the culprit was milk after his first anaphylactic reaction.  What I didn’t imagine was that he would be allergic to over 20 additional foods.

After his second anaphylactic reaction, he was given a skin prick test and an immunoglobulin E (IgE) blood test which measures the blood level of IgE, one of the five subclasses of antibodies. The immune system makes antibodies, proteins that attack antigens, one antigen being food allergens.

During the time we were awaiting the IgE blood test results, Lumen suffered two more reactions, one from breast milk.  The doctor ordered me to go on an exclusion diet, eliminating all the foods he suspected Lumen might be allergic to.  While only trace amounts of the allergens were likely coming through my breast milk, these scintilla quantities were enough to cause a reaction.  This is exactly what happened.  As I was breastfeeding Lumen in the hospital, he started to develop a rash all over his face as well as become agitated.  The doctor who was sitting right next to me told me to stop feeding immediately.  She gave him an antihistamine and told me that I was no longer allowed to breastfeed my son.  What had nourished him exclusively for the first six months of his life was now threatening his life.

Test results in, the doctors confirmed that Lumen was severely allergic to multiple foods, including milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, rye, barley, oats, soy, corn, peas, green beans, sunflower, sesame, lentils, chickpeas, coconut, strawberries, and bananas, among others. Read the rest of this entry »

Play It Again, Ma, for Mother’s Day

When I was a child, my mom used to play music on Sundays.  She probably played it every day, but it’s that Sunday music I recall most.  She’d pick out a few albums, including the usuals — Nicolette Larson’s “Nicolette”, Eric Clapton’s “Slowhand” and Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” — lean them up against the wood record player console cabinet, pull the first piece of vinyl out of its sleeve, place it down on the turntable, position the needle on the groove, and let life happen.

She would dance and sway her head while singing along to the lyrics.  And I, a five- or six-year old, would imagine I was Nicolette with her long hair and roller skates singing about how it was “gonna take a lotta love to change the way things are”.  While some were honouring the sacred and holy day, I was falling in love with Dylan asking a lady to lay across his big brass bed.  Those drums and a very early understanding of anticipation have never left me.  As my mom would close her eyes and hum along to Clapton’s “Cocaine”, I would sing, “She’s alright, she’s alright, she’s alright, cocaine.”  Wrong lyrics I would learn years later, but similar meaning.

The slightly muffled music coming from the speakers, the air, the time together is what I remember before my mom broke my heart.  Not in a “No you can’t have a quadruple scoop ice cream” or an “I don’t care if Sally Sue has the glitter hula hoop that emits a tune if you gyrate just right, you’re not getting one” sort of way, but in a way so profound it has impacted several aspects of my life.  I don’t believe she did it intentionally.

My mom is the child of a woman who — I’ve been given the impression — was not the most maternal.  She had some of her many children taken away, and my mom was forced to live in several different foster homes.  My mom married, had her marriage annulled, eventually met my father and became pregnant with me all while still a teenager.

I won’t make excuses for the fact she abandoned me and my brother as a lost traveller will sometimes leave behind his belongings in an attempt to persevere, but perspective is a helpful tool in life.  As are adversities.  She had adversities, I have adversities, my sons will have adversities.  But whichever hardships might be thrown their way, my boys will never, ever have to worry about me not being there for them.  For as long as Enlai and Lumen will allow me to, I will continue to sing and dance with them on Sundays and Wednesdays and probably even Tuesdays.  We will boogie until our limbs are shaky, sing the wrong lyrics, and laugh.

In honour of this Mother’s Day, I’ve gathered a list of some mother-related songs, written by mothers for their children, by sons or daughters for their mother, songs about mothers, about choices, about childbirth, about the passing of time, the majority of songs which are admittedly fairly sad and strike a personal chord.  My boys have listened to all these songs, and while the little guy wants to dance to everything, including ballads, my big boy is asking about lyrics and why singers choose to sing songs the way they do.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers who listen to music with their children, who sing and who dance with them.

Aloe Blacc – Mama Hold My Hand

John Lennon – Mother

James Brown – Mother Popcorn

Ray LaMontagne – Hey Me, Hey Mama

Lauryn Hill – Zion

Christina Aguilera – Oh Mother

Nina Simone – Blues for Mama

This Woman’s Work – written by Kate Bush and covered by Maxwell

For Mama – written by Charles Aznavour and covered by Ray Charles