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Mother-Daughter Story Contest Winners Announced

May 10th, 2007

The winners of the Tell Us Your Best Mother-Daughter Story contest, offered in conjunction with Universal Studios Home Entertainment, have been selected! It took us a bit longer to announce the top three submissions than we anticipated, because there were so many interesting and touching entries.

Congratulations to the winners, and a heart-felt thanks to all those who submitted!

Also, we’d like to express our particular thanks to Universal Studios Home Entertainment for participating in this contest and for providing the free “Because I Said So” DVD prizes – without them, this contest never would have happened.

Meanwhile, we’ll be spending a little time this weekend watching the “Because I Said So” DVD with Mom!

First Prize Winner

Mother’s Day Central Note: Trying to sort out the most compelling and well told stories was no easy task. As we said, there were lots of great ones. But our team felt that this was one of the most universal of the submissions, having so much to do with the questions we ask ourselves as parents, and as children.

The Story:

Am I Flying?

Today my eight-year-old daughter almost convinced a girl on the playground that she could teach her how to fly. It ended badly, with a fight and a call home from the teacher.

What’s a parent to do? Punish her? Hug her? Pound every ounce of imagination out of her? I really don’t know.

Clearly this calls for a voice of wisdom and experience far beyond my own. Mom would know how to take the right approach, how to balance a child’s imagination with the concerns of others. She raised four kids, and now has the advantage of hindsight and a little bit of distance.

The only problem is that I can’t get in touch with Mom. Long story short, she’s gone: ovarian cancer, five year fight, dead almost two years ago at 61. Too young, people say, but really, when it’s your mom, any age is too young.

One of the unexpected things about Mom’s death is how much I’ve learned about her. Yes, she would know what to do with her granddaughter’s Harry Potter obsession. But it wasn’t until the funeral that it dawned on me just how many people sought out her advice. Teachers have a way of really impacting a broad circle of people around them, and Mom was no exception. Her students, colleagues, and friends all told stories that showed just how much more wisdom she dished out than I had realized. The memorial scholarship, the tree with a plaque by the football field, these and other spontaneous displays of love and affection by those who did not call her Mom, have shown me what it meant to be a mother in the broader sense, which gives me some comfort.

But, the question’s still open, Mom: what do I do with that granddaughter of yours? How I wish it could be answered.

Submitted by: Kathleen Havey

Second Prize Winner

Mother’s Day Central Note: OK, so this is story is more from Mom’s point-of-view than the daughter’s point-of-view, but hey, part of being creative is breaking the rules just a little. And in the end, this story is still very much about lessons between mother and daughter.

The Story:

That First Kiss

This is not only the story of my first kiss, it is the story of my 14-year-olds first kiss-to-be.

In 1970, I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and was in 8th grade. Like many of my girlfriends, I spent most Saturday nights babysitting (for a whopping 50 cents per hour) and pondering boys like Ken Johnson. I liked babysitting for the Hildebrands because they lived across the street from Ken Johnson, and there was a possibility, albeit a small one, that I might actually see Ken in his kitchen window if I looked from precisely the right angle.

One evening, as I peeked out the window in hopes of seeing Ken, I was shocked to see him — walking down the driveway, right toward my gaze as I pulled the curtain from the window. As the doorbell rang, my heart pounded. During the next few hours we sat on the front porch and evaded awkward moments of silence with sporadic moments of chatter. At the end of it all, Ken jutted his face forward, landing a haphazard and very nervous kiss somewhere near my mouth. To me, it felt like Prince Charming’s perfect kiss, soft and flawless. After that one encounter, Ken and I rarely talked to each other. For a few years, we’d give each other fleeting and awkward acknowledgements as we passed in the High School. Soon, even that ceased.

The years passed. I learned to kiss and practiced willingly. Sixteen years ago, I married the man who was the best kisser of them all — though not solely for that reason.

A few years ago, at my 20-year reunion, I played the part of the typical ex-cheerleader — socializing with everyone and connecting with no one. Shortly after I arrived back in Seattle, the phone rang. It was a friend from High School. “Ken Johnson was looking for you at the reunion picnic” my friend told me. “He said wanted to say hello to the first girl he ever kissed. I gave him your number.” Feeling as nervous as I did when I saw Ken walking down the driveway so many years before, I waited for the phone to ring. It did, and it was Ken. This time the conversation was comfortable and fluid. He told me about his wife, his kids, his job. We talked for a while — long enough for my daughter to repeatedly walk into the room, look at me quizzically, and shrug her shoulders as if to say, “Who IS that, MOM?”

When Ken and I finally did hang up, my annoyed daughter asked, “Who WAS that, MOM?” I told her that it was the first boy who ever kissed me. She was stunned into silence. And then, “Huh? I don’t get it. Why is he calling YOU? You’re 38 and married!” “Because,” I said slowly, “It means that much to these two 38-year-olds.” Right then and there my daughter promised that she would never kiss a boy until she knows that he’s someone she’d want to hear from when she’s 38 — and when she can pass the same story — and lesson — on to her daughter.

My daughter has been asked out many times. She has always said NO. No one ever passed the “call when I’m 38 test.” Until last week. She said YES last week. Ben is the one whose deep, unfamiliar voice she will hear many years from now when the phone rings the day after her 20-year-reunion.

Some of life’s lessons are taught when you’re least aware that you’re the teacher.

Submitted by: Carol Snider
Website: Northwest Ladybug

Third Prize Winner

Mother’s Day Central Note: All we can say is, it feels like there’s a lot of love in this story.

The Story:

I’m writing to tell about my best mother story ever. It didn’t come when I was a little girl but when I was 22.

Three months before my wedding my mom became very ill and was put into the hospital. We found out that she needed a liver transplant. I was so scared.

She did the best that she could to make my wedding the best day ever. She didn’t have a lot of strength but did really good.

Shortly after the wedding I became pregnant. I wanted my mom to be there for the birth of my first child. My due date was April 20th, and they said she would get her new liver which was one year from the day she found out which was April 20th. Kinda scary isn’t it.

I had a feeling she wouldn’t be there for my important day and everyone would be gone because where she got her transplant was three hours away from where we lived. On April 1st she got the call. I was having some preterm labor so the doctor said it wouldn’t be good for me to go.

As I hugged my mom for what could have been the last time, she pulled out of the driveway a headed to Omaha Nebraska. Tears fell down my face as they drove away and the rest of the family. She new she had to do what was needed if she wanted to hold her grandbaby later in life.

Well when getting to the hospital they had to end up giving that liver to someone else who was needing it worse than her. I still had a chance. She came home and I tried the best that I could to care for her but her day came to care for me.

On April 6th I went into labor. My husband was there but my mom was too. I had a very hard labor. They ended up taking me in for emergency c-section so I no God new I needed my mom there for me. I had a healthy little boy. He was code blue at birth but it didn’t take him long to start screaming.

On April 19th one day from my original due date my mom got that call. I got to pack up and my son and I got to go along as we sat through the 10-hour surgery. That was eight years ago.

The best gift she could have ever given me was life again. She is a fighter and won’t give up no matter how hard things seem to get. She is by far the strongest woman I have ever met and I love her more than words could ever express!

Submitted by: Christy Balch


Thanks again to all who participated, and congratulations to the winners!

Have a great Mother’s Day!


2 Responses

    Tell Us Your Best Mother-Daughter Story ~ Blog ~ Says:

    […] Our “Tell Us Your Best Mother-Daughter Story” winners have been announced here. […]

    hannah vanorman Says:

    I love being daughtor to my mom and dad I love have fun being daughtor

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