Monday Mom Stuff

Yesterday, Greg Pincus blogged about his dad, about his dad reading aloud to him, and Greg’s reading aloud to his kids. My own mom and dad were up for a visit this weekend, and…well, I was thinking about a “mom post” this morning, even before I read Greg’s post.


This is my mom’s theme song. Or, rather, my theme song for my mom.

My mom is now and has always been honest with me. I have very distinct memories of going to her with my writing, when I was a girl, and having her read it, then say, “This is really good for your age.”

Okay, no, it might not have been exactly what I wanted to hear…then. But I knew she was telling me the truth, and I would have been able to tell if she were lying. ‘Cause, you know, she wouldn’t have been any good at it. 🙂

Recently, my mom has been working on her memoir. She started taking a class, then–when the teacher had to leave–she and some of the other writers decided to keep writing together. Voila…my mom had a writing group. And she’s using my book to work on her revisions.

Which would be totally cool enough.

Except there’s more.

She and my dad visited this weekend, to say “Happy Birthday” to my now-fourteen-year-old son (not sure when that happened!). And I asked my mom if she wanted to read the first scenes of my WIP.

She said, “Sure.”

One more thing you should know about my mom. She reads fast. Lightening-bolt fast. And, as I was to learn just this weekend, not a single expression crosses her face as she’s reading. Yes, I watched. And I had no clue. I mean, this is first-draft stuff. Mega revisions lay ahead. Was I going to get the decades-older version of “good for my age? Which, you know, at heading-toward-fifty just isn’t so much of a compliment anymore.

She turned the last page and said, “This is really good. I would read this book.”

So there we were, both tearing up and hugging, and talking about other historical novels, and I was emailing her the list of Joyce Moyer Hostetter’s books, because now she wants to read some YA historical fiction, and, well…

I have always believed that Caro’s story is one I want to tell.  Because of my mom’s honest lullaby, I now believe more strongly than ever that I can tell it.

Thanks, Mom.


  1. Claudine says:

    What a beautiful post and tribute to your mother and the mutually supportive relationship you have with each other. Incidentally, I love Joan Baez.


    • beckylevine says:

      Thanks, Claudine. I SAW Joan Baez in concert a couple of years ago in Santa Cruz. She has possibly a more amazing voice than when she was young.


  2. Terri Thayer says:

    So sweet. What a lovely gift to give your Mom and vice versa.


    • beckylevine says:

      Mostly, it feels like the gift is to me, but Mom probably sees it from a different angle. 🙂


  3. Kelly Fineman says:

    How wonderful. *is envious*


  4. jama says:

    Cool! I’m envious, too :).


  5. That is so awesome for you. And not bad for me either. Thanks!

    And very cool that she is writing her memoir.


    • beckylevine says:

      Thanks, Joyce. She’s going to love your books. It is cool that she’s writing. My mom left Germany at 3, lived in England through the war, came to America as a teenager, and was one of the first 10 women at UC Davis’ vet school. And she says, “I guess it’s maybe an interesting life.” 🙂


      • Your mom is from Germany?! I might need to interview her for my next book!

        She sounds like a fun person. (with an interesting life)


        • beckylevine says:

          Well, she was only there for her 1st 3 years. But I’m sure she’d be happy to talk with you. She has an aunt who’s only 10 years older & still very sharp–she left at 12. What’s the next book’s story?!


  6. Awww. I teared up. How wonderful for your book. How wonderful for you and your mom. Wow.


  7. Multi generational German family saga – with movement back and forth between US and Germany. (it’s still just a wild idea!)


  8. P. J. Hoover says:

    I love this post, Becky! Go, Mom!


  9. Vivian says:

    Your mom sounds awesome. What a wonderful relationship you have.


    • beckylevine says:

      Vivian, in many ways my mom & I are very different (although we seem to be getting more similar as we (I?) get older. But she worked very hard when I was young to stretch herself to, if not understand how my brain/personality worked, help me grow with it. That, I will never stop appreciating.


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