I watched The Help again yesterday. It is such a good movie! The Help is filled with poignant moments, but today I want to focus on the scene in which Charlotte Phelan finally affirms her daughter, Skeeter.  Until this point, it seemed that Charlotte was only trying to change Skeeter into herself, into a southern beauty who would land a rich and handsome husband. It appeared that she had little regard for who her daughter actually was. After Charlotte had read and processed Skeeter’s book, she began to appreciate that her daughter was a strong and unique woman. Charlotte then ran Hilly off her property rather than let her daughter be threatened by her peer, and then told Skeeter that she was proud of her.  “Courage sometimes skips a generation. Thank you for bringing it back to our family.”

Have you had a moment like that with your mother? Not that she has realized her bigotry, but that she has actually seen you and affirmed you? Why do many of us still long for that? Even if our mothers aren’t a big part of our lives anymore, there is something innate that makes us still look to them for approval.

It might be time for me to take over my own mothering, and tell the uncertain daughter inside that I’m proud of her.

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