Valley of Amazement


If evolution really worked,

how come mothers only have two hands?

Milton Berle



For Mother’s Day, this Powerful Goddess honors her mother’s Asian heritage. With features that take more after her father’s, something about her eyes suggests barely a whisper of her Eastern roots.  We found an ancient screen and ceramic stool as a simple backdrop for her robe and chopstick.  I adore photographs that look like old paintings!  I also imagine Vivien, the heroine of mixed heritage in Amy Tan’s latest novel, Valley of Amazement, must have been as beautiful as this.

Valley of Amazement has mixed reviews for being long-winded and predictable. With its countless peaks and valleys, how many mother daughter relationships can really be told succinctly?  Fewer still are those relationships that don’t defy prediction. For who among us can see beyond the wisdom of our years, no matter whatever age?  

This Mother’s day, because I’m in the valley of feeling grossly outnumbered by three teens–each flexing his/her own wings of wanna-be-adult independence minus the responsibilities that come with it–I vow to laugh more knowing that every year that passes is one year closer to being amazed and possibly hearing them say, “OMG, mom was right after all!” A few other funnies on motherhood I wish I wrote:

My mother’s menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it. –Buddy Hackett

Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. –Ambrose Bierce

A suburban mother’s role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after. -Peter De Vries

Living with a teen is like living with the Taliban: a mom is not allowed to laugh, sing, dance or wear short skirts. –Kathy Lette

The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant—and let the air out of the tires. -Dorothy Parker

I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them. –Phyllis Diller

Neurotics build castles in the air, psychotics live in them. My mother cleans them. –Rita Rudner

The phrase “working mother” is redundant. -Jane Sellman

When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway. -Erma Bombeck

I was dating a transvestite, and my mother said, ‘Marry him. You’ll double your wardrobe. –Joan Rivers

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what’s amazing (or at least what makes you laugh) about motherhood.






© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

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