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Behind Each Woman Stands a Mother

May 07, 1997|JEANNINE STEIN

If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Recognizing this to be true, we're sucking up to Ma all this week with excerpts from the latest books on motherhood as we count down to Mother's Day on Sunday.

From "Mothers & Daughters" by Carol Saline and Sharon J. Wohlmuth (Doubleday, 1997):

Anne Guisewite and her daughter, cartoonist Cathy Guisewite:

* "Does art imitate life? Is Cathy Guisewite's real mother, Anne, the noodge she's portrayed in the strip?

" 'Actually, my mother is infinitely more discreet about bringing up husbands and grandchildren,' Cathy admits. 'I'm usually exaggerating or projecting what I think she thinks.'

"On the other hand, Anne Guisewite did start buying silver for Cathy's wedding when she was just a baby."

Edna Austin and her daughter, singer Patti Austin

* "Edna always made damn sure that if Patti was going to have a career, she was also going to have a normal childhood. . . .

" 'One day I said to Patti when she was around five, 'Get a pail and rag and clean out the toilets,' Edna remembers. 'My husband got very indignant. . . . I told him, 'See these two hands, buddy? They do it and she's no better than me.' I'm a firm believer that if you bring your children up to think they are like God, they believe you.' "

Eleanor Blair and her daughter, skater Bonnie Blair:

* " 'My mother never, ever pushed me. Never criticized me. Never forced me,' Bonnie says emphatically. 'Whether I won or I lost she was very proud of me.'

"True to the family form, Eleanor is more grateful than impressed with the celebrity status that comes from being Bonnie Blair's mother. 'How many mothers,' she asks, 'have a daughter who does wonderful things like take them to a taping of "Wheel of Fortune" or to lunch with President Ford and dinner with General Norman Schwarzkopf--in the same day?' "

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