I was a bitchy teenage daughter to my mom. I think back on my behavior now, and cringe. At times I was argumentative to the point of being down right hostile.
The two of us battled on a daily basis (on the days, of course, that she was in town and wasn’t traveling).
But, we had one common ground, an area that was neutral territory, that we could talk about without causing any friction: reading.
And, because my mom traveled so often, she would feed our shared addiction with a continuous supply of books she had purchased at the airport and read on her latest flights. My bookshelves are full of these books from her, books she would hand to me after she finished them. We would talk about them with warmth, and without any fear of tripping each other’s sensitive emotional landmines.
We read all kinds of these books, but the most common were: Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Robert Ludlum and John Grisham.
To this day, when I go into an airport bookstore, these memories make me smile. And, that smile is especially bittersweet if there is a new book from one of these authors, since I know if my mom were still alive she would have already beaten me to buying and reading it, and would be waiting for me to finish it so we could talk about it.