My mother sent me a one-line text the other night: “I saw Lady Bird.”
A little nervous and not sure what was being implied by her brevity, I immediately called for her take on the film that has been sweeping theaters around the country. Along with the varied themes on class, family, and teenage relationships, this story of a young woman’s coming-of-age seems to have struck a chord for its poignant, funny, and bittersweet depiction of a mother-daughter relationship. While fumbling with my phone I wondered if my own mother had the same reaction I did, that it somehow perfected the odd juxtaposition between parents and children, where you both know everything and nothing about one another, and it sometimes feels as though your whole life is spent evolving in relation to them.
It’s clear why this relationship is mined so often in storytelling, but rarely does a novel or film capture this intersection of individuality, utter dependency, and the indelibly sweet, complex love within families so well. Luckily, there are a few authors who have mastered just that.