We are four generations of Sues:
Sue Darling, my grandmother,
Toni Sue, my mother,
Nicole Sue, myself as mother now,
and Flora Sue, my baby girl.
Sue isn’t the loveliest name, but it shines for me because of the beloved, sassy, unswerving women who share it. Since I was a little girl who adored my grandma and looked so much like my mother that people stopped us in stores to remark on it, I’ve been proud to be called by their name. And when I triumphantly cut a bright pink cake that announced to a room of family and friends that I would be mother to three dear boys and now also this yearned-for daughter, we all cheered.
Little Flora is now almost two years old. She is inherently a Sue in all the small poetic ways I couldn’t have written more perfectly: her hair is a flame in the sun; she isn’t the sweetest or cheeriest girl but is utterly devoted to her select handful of people; she would spend all day reading if she could, book after book; she is a force.
She is as spunky as her great-grandmother, as devoted as her grandmother, as deep as her mother, and unalterably herself.
Motherhood, for me, has been an ocean crashing with terrifying love. It is a series of fleeting moments that leave me in awe and a series of unending days that leave me exhausted. It has turned me inside out, winnowed away the unimportant things and left me as fiercely protective as I knew my grandma and now my mother to be. Now as a mother, I am bound in fresh ways to my mother and her mother.
If motherhood’s consuming and vast love is the ocean, my grandma and mother are the calm shore I return to in rhythm, without having to try. My daughter is the boat skimming the surface, buoyant.
If motherhood is a tea party, my grandma and mother are the tea, hot and comforting in my core. My daughter is the strawberry macaron.
If motherhood is an expanse of sky, my grandma and mother are the sun, the clouds, the weather all around. My daughter is a flitting goldfinch.
If motherhood is a stack of treasured books, my grandma and mother are the ones who taught me to read, slow and patient, tracing the lines with their fingers, the syllables with their tongues. They are the language now being learned. I am the reader, practicing the story, trying to tell it well. My daughter is the chubby weight happily settling into the lap, drinking in the words, asking for another book, piling them high.
One of my favorite things about the Pfister is the beautiful canvas it is for family traditions. For years, Pfister Afternoon Tea has been a lovely way to make lasting memories, and this year you can treat your mother to a sweet new tradition with Mother’s Day Tea. Seating times are available at 12:30pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm or 2:00pm on Friday May 11-Sunday May 13. For reservations, call 877.704.5340.