Goodness, this is wonderful writing about motherhood from Anna Funder in The Age with “The Girl Who Cried Bear”.
But 40 years on, this story has changed. I have more to bring to it than I had before. It is only now, as a mother myself, that I can understand this story from my mother’s point of view. She told it against herself, wry and blackly funny. She told it also as if a narrow escape like this might somehow protect us from worse, as if the universe meted out warnings in close calls and as if people learnt from them. Mostly, I see now, she told the story as a metaphor for the eternal Mantra of All Mothers, a mantra that only now, as a mother am I initiated into, a mantra which is: I tried my best. It wasn’t enough. But it could have been worse.