"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.
A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child."
~~Sophia Loren

Hi all!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and motherly ladies out there!  I hope you have a wonderful day!

In honor of the occasion, this newsletter is largely focused on the female Dyeland characters.  Enjoy!

God bless,

Motherly Tropes in Dyeland Stories

Clean Pretty Childbirth- Does NOT happen in the Dyeland stories... not even when it comes to Maryam delivering Yeshua.  There's pain and blood and afterbirth. 

Let's Have Another Baby- Andrew and JenniAnn are in this place right now... although swapping in "adopt" for "have" makes a bit more sense in their case.  And, spoiler alert, when Avi does come around, someone else does die.  Presumably, Zeke and Diana had that conversation, as well, but in their case it resulted in failure to conceive until several years later when little Manny was born.

I'm Taking Her Home with Me- To some extent, JenniAnn tends to feel this way towards Violeta.  She certainly never abducted Violeta who was only too happy to stay with JenniAnn but from the moment Violeta outed herself as a mere teenager, JenniAnn seems to have decided the angel was basically her daughter.  This sentiment went into hyper-drive when Violeta was transformed into a little girl in "Chrysalis."  Joshua (aka Violeta's actual parent) seems to be okay with this relationship.

Anti-Smother Love Talk- Vincent, Allison, and Robert were all more than a little concerned about JenniAnn's burgeoning relationship to Andrew.  It fell to Catherine to be the voice of reason.  To some extent, Violeta had to plead her own case when JenniAnn was horrified by the idea of her becoming a young girl in order to capture a trafficker in "Chrysalis."

Deceptive Legacy- Back on Beauty and the Beast, Paracelsus tried to spin one of these on Vincent and did significant mental damage in the process.  In "Origins," Vincent learns that he was conceived and born as most babies are to upstanding parents who loved each other very much.  He also gets to meet his mother, Cora, who adores him and never wanted to be parted from him.  Needless to say, Vincent didn't "rip his away out of his mother's womb" as dastardly Paracelsus said.  Heck, I caused more trauma to my actual mom by being a C section baby.  :-)

Family Relationship Switcheroo- I don't believe there are any cases of cover-ups in the Dyeland stories.  It's more the case that people discover that they're more related than they thought they were.  For example, Vincent was briefly JenniAnn's adoptive father but then he turned out to be her cousin by marriage and her godfather.  In what I still think is the strangest switch, Rose went from being JenniAnn's friend and sometime-sleepover buddy to being her daughter-in-law aka Best Friends in Law.  Finally, Josef thought he was just the temporary guardian to Daisy but learned from Joshua that he was actually her great-great-etc. grandfather... who's now also her dad.

Honor-Related Abuse- So-called "honor" was likely the motive behind Uncle forcing Isra to marry Behnam and, later, his attempted rape of her.  Behnam and Isra have abandoned all such notions and are wonderful parents to their three little ones.  Cora's mother, Agnes, who wasn't very nice to begin with, used her pregnancy as justification for becoming even more verbally abusive than in the past.  Not believing her daughter had been married, Agnes also threatened to send Cora away to give birth and give up the baby so the family wouldn't be shamed.  Cora bravely cast her mother out and gave birth to Vincent on her own.

Our Phlebotinum Child
- Violeta is this to Andrew and JenniAnn.  Joshua created her as an answer to their prayers.

Wonder Child- Of course we have the biblical era wonder children: Yohannan, Maryam, and Yoninah.  Although coming into their family by adoption, Jacob arrived long after Catherine and Vincent had given up on having a child.  To some extent, Manny is this although Diana and Zeke weren't that old when he was born.

Mystical Pregnancy- Hi Maryam!

Wacky Cravings- Kemara having cravings comes up and later with Isra, too.  The example that comes to mind for me is cottage cheese and pickle sandwiches.  Ironically, the not-pregnant me actually eats those sometimes.

I Want My Mommy- While the other kids tend to be fairly equal opportunity in going to either parent or another parental figure for comfort, Liam seemed to prefer going to Monica, his Monny, post-nightmare as opposed to his dad.

New Parent Nomenclature Problem- While his mother had some serious issues and didn't always treat him well, Liam loved her.  Therefore, he struggled with calling Monica "Mommy" and instead opted for "Monny."  He has no problem calling her Mom now that he's a bit older.

Meddling Parents- Allison and Robert sometimes slip into this, most problematically in "Shadowlands."  Granted, their daughter was in a coma after being shot so their behavior was understandable even if it did make things even more difficult for poor Andrew.

Open-Minded Parent- I have a feeling that most of the current crop of Dyelander/Friends parents, if not all, will be this.  In one particular example, Liam gets himself all worked up about his feelings for Belle without realizing that his parents and hers used to joke a bit about the two getting together and certainly aren't opposed. 

Happily Adopted- Little Daisy can now be added to the list of Friends kids who are adopted by two parents who adore her.  Amber-Marie and Josef started as her temporary guardians but ended up buying a house and living together as brother and sister so the little girl could have a stable, happy life surrounded by a loving community.

Team Mom and Team Dad- In Dyeland, I think JenniAnn and Andrew are this.  In the wider Friends group, Diana and Zeke seem to fill the roles.  Catherine and Vincent are already functioning in this capacity Below and likely will even moreso when Father heads Home.

Cuddlebug- Belle is so much this with her mama and daddy that it's one of her nicknames.  It seems to be generational since JenniAnn herself was a cuddlebug with Vincent and, assuredly, her parents.

Babies Ever After- While several of the characters have or adopt babies, for Isolde and Marco and Mick and Beth, this is a coming resolution to decades to centuries worth of angst.  Since vampires are sterile, it's not until post-cure that they're able to have the babies they've long wished for.

Family Versus Career- Grown-up Daisy and Aiyla get into a disagreement about this in "When in Rome."  Aiyla is disappointed that her Aunt Isolde chose motherhood over a career.  Daisy snaps back that Isolde's choice should be honored and respected.

Madonna-Whore Complex- Woe unto you if you start down this line of thought with any of the Friends.  Emma and JenniAnn have been particularly outspoken about this harmful over-simplification and even Maryam finds it highly distasteful and wrong.

Advice from Dyelander and Friends Moms

Diana- "Always be sure to take time for yourself!  I know it can be incredibly hard between work and family obligations but you won't be able to accomplish anything if you wear yourself down."

Catherine- "Never stop learning!  I meet so many women who weren't encouraged to pursue their interests and I've seen the light come back into their eyes when they're given an opportunity to read and learn."

JenniAnn- "Let your kids know how much you love their dad.  I have it on very high authority that that's important.  I think kids seeing any sort of healthy, loving relationship will help them develop healthy, loving relationships of their own down the road."

Kylie- "Don't be afraid to go out and enjoy an evening with your hubby or partner.  It was super hard to leave Ada-Marie for the first time, even though I trust her Uncle Adam immensely, but it was worth it 100%."

Raquel- "Treasure every, single moment.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't miss Dawn but that longing has encouraged me to make the absolute most out of every visit with my grandbabies.  I can't wait until Nico and I retire and come home to Dyeland for good so I can see them every day!"

Isra- "If your husband offers to help out... let him!  It was at first shocking to me how hands on Behnam wanted to be with our babies but I'm so pleased with the loving, caring relationship he has with them.

Kemara - "Don't feel like you have to do everything yourself. When Ian and Joy were born, Sean and I agreed that we would swallow our pride and accept help from our families and friends - and ask for it, too! It's been one of the best decisions we ever made. Now our children have lots of "aunts" and "uncles" to love them, and Sean and I can take time for ourselves every now and then."

Monica- "Coffee is your friend!"

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for being a part of Mother, Mother.  I was thinking about that movie today and am still so impressed that he took part in that project so early on in the AIDS crisis.

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(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from Touched by an Angel and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)