I’ve always admired mothers. Most work, juggle their own schedule with those of their children, maintain the house and keep everyone’s life in order. Mothers are truly the backbone of the family and, in my opinion, society. I’ve often wondered though, after they take care of everyone else, what’s left for them?
My mother had a life before I was born, and she still does, but it was different. It was free of responsibility and the pressure of trying to be all things to all people. I was so busy letting her take care of me and our family, it wasn’t until I was older that I bothered to ask about her hopes and dreams.
Mothers are taken for granted and rarely fully appreciated. Where would we be without mothers who pick us up when we fall, love us in spite of our shortcomings, sacrifice for our future?
When I conceived of the character, Bridget, it was important to give her a rich backstory, even if it wasn’t fully explored. We see this woman now, but who could she have been? Like so many mothers, she was on a certain path and was derailed by life.
Bridget is the woman we’ve all seen: the no nonsense mother, the determined survivor, the quietly vulnerable lady who has seen too much, loved too hard and challenges her daughter to escape her disappointing shadow.
She’s the faceless passenger on the train at the end of the day whose makeup is cracking, feet are aching, clothing is askew and hair has seen better days. Distractions are all around, young men twisting and turning their bodies in all directions to the beat of music she no longer understands as they climb the poles all fearless and limber, hoping for a few loose coins for their performance; she’d give it to them if she had it to spare. Others are sleeping or deeply engrossed in their game or book, but most stare ahead blankly, trying not to make eye contact, like her, thinking of the life that is slowly breaking them down.
This isn’t the life she wants, but it’s what she has. If she closes her eyes tightly, she can see a different version of her life. She has the wealth she dreamed of and men fall helplessly under her spell, bowing to the Queen she knows she is. If they are lucky, maybe she will choose one to give a little more of herself because she is a woman who knows what she wants, needs, and she’s not afraid of telling him exactly that. She has someone to make sure she eats right, doesn’t drink too much and stays away from the things that may harm her glorious voice. Life is...easy.
But in that other world, where glitz overshadows substance, she is not a mother or best friend; she doesn’t know the warmth of her daughter’s arm or the unconditional love she gives and receives. This hard life of long days, cheap clothing, persistent exhaustion isn’t what she dreamed, but it’s her reality and she is going to make the most of it. If only so her daughter has a real shot.
Bridget is every mother.