Welcome! Today I am a stop on the Mother Daughter Show blog tour. For my stop the author has provided a guest post for you all to enjoy. I liked reading this post and it made me more interested in the book which sounds like a meaningful read. Welcome Natalie, and thank you for being on my blog today!
Christie’s Book Reviews: What if Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama were the mothers featured in your book - how would they have handled things?
When I started out to write The Mother Daughter Show, I was involved in an annual end-of-the-year musical revue at my kids’ school, Sidwell Friends in Washington DC, which went by the same name.
The concept of the show sounded sweet: take a bunch of mothers and ask them to write funny lyrics to popular songs, and then sing and dance before an audience of their graduating senior daughters. But even before I got involved, I had heard that year after year, problems arose among the mothers: cliques were formed, backs were stabbed, tears were shed.
And soon after the planning began the year my daughter was a senior, I began to see that this year would be no exception. But I could also see that it wasn’t necessarily because of the particular individuals who happened to be involved. After all, problems were arising year after year. So it seemed to me there was something about the situation that was causing those problems.
The specifics vary from year to year, but basically you have a group of intelligent, high-powered women with strong, and sometimes conflicting, opinions. They’re writing songs that are supposed to be funny, but not all of them have the same sense of humor. And they’re being asked to stand up and perform these songs in front of their teenage daughters—maybe the scariest audience imaginable. Their worst nightmare? That their daughters won’t laugh.
So you have some mothers rejecting things other mothers have written, and having your writing rejected can be painful. And some mothers may also be hearing that their jokes aren’t funny. But the people who are telling them these things feel they have to, because the last thing any of them wants is to look totally clueless in front of their daughters (who probably think their mothers are pretty clueless to begin with).
So what would some real First Ladies do in this situation? Well, one of them—Hillary Clintn—was actually in a real Mother-Daughter Show, back when Chelsea was a senior at Sidwell. I’d like to think that her powers of diplomacy (which may have been honed a bit during her tenure as Secretary of State) would serve her well. But while she apparently was a good sport about appearing in the show, she didn’t have the time or the inclination to get involved in the really contentious part of the show—the planning. And I’m sure that would be true of any First Lady.
Although Michelle Obama’s daughters are both students at Sidwell, she won’t have her chance to participate in a Mother Daughter Show—the school ended the tradition as of this year.
But I would hope that any First Lady would have the wisdom and perspective that my characters ultimately achieve and realize that the show isn’t what’s important. What IS important is recognizing that despite the tension and conflict that often accompany the teenage years, the bonds between mothers and daughters are strong and lasting—even if it sometimes takes a crisis to make them visible.