WeWriWa—What Makes a Mother


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. This week, in honor of Mother’s Day, I’m sharing a snippet from Little Ragdoll, the contemporary historical I’m releasing on 20 June. (I chose that release date because it’s the 50th anniversary of the release of The Four Seasons’ song “Rag Doll,” the inspiration for my story.)

It’s May 1973, in Hudson Falls, NY, and 18-year-old Adicia is in labor with the child who was created the night before her newlywed husband Ricky was inducted into the Air Force for Vietnam. Ricky’s number was 88, one of the final numbers to be called in the last active year of the draft lottery. I’m not going to give anything away, but suffice it to say, Ricky can’t be at the birth.

The midwife hasn’t come to the house yet, but she’s got the support of family and friends. Most meaningful to Adicia is the presence of her old nanny Sarah (with a long A), who was fired by her mother shortly before her eighth birthday and finally reunited with Adicia’s family about eight months ago. No matter that they have different family names, religions, and ethnicities, Adicia is her baby.


She sobs in relief when she feels her old nanny’s arms around her and her hands stroking her hair.

“Please don’t leave me, Sarah,” she begs. “I think God, if he exists, made a mistake when he was assigning mothers and gave me my birth mother and you only as my nanny.”

“Du und deine Schwestern waren meine Kinder bevor ich hatte Kinder biologischen,” she whispers to Adicia. “I love Fritz and Nessa as a mutter loves her biological kinder, but I love you and your sisters as a mutter loves kinder who are hers through love.  You, Emeline, Ernestine, and Justine all said ‘Mama’ as your first word, and to me, not your blood mutter.  You, Lucine, Emeline, Ernestine, and Justine are my babies just as much as Fritz and Nessa.  I have seven kinder, not just two.”


In case you couldn’t guess, the German means “You and your sisters were my children before I had biological children.” Sarah’s speech was originally written with a German accent, but I finally took it all out and just introduced her by saying she still retains her strong accent after so many years in America. Now she only has a few German words she says in place of hard to pronounce English words, like bruder (brother), mutter (mother), vater (father), and mit (with).

For those who are interested, Jakob’s story is now available for purchase by Kindle and will have a print edition coming presently. You can click on the image for more information.

Jakob Cover


6 thoughts on “WeWriWa—What Makes a Mother

  1. Very sweet! Family isn’t just blood, sometimes it’s the people you choose.

    I like how you do her speech–just enough to know how she talks, without making it hard to read.


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