LADY BIRD: Mothers, Daughters, Making The Personal Universal

Spoilers for Lady Bird follow.

I know my mother loved me. I know it on an intellectual level, anyway. After all, she worked two jobs to support me and my brother, and she insisted that I go to a Catholic high school for my safety and to improve my future prospects. She put in a lot of work, sacrificed a lot, to get me through childhood.

But I don’t know, on an emotional level, that my mother loved me. She never showed me love, and she only ever seemed disappointed, let down, put out by me. I know this in a real way, know that it isn’t just a figment of my angsty adolescent imagination because it kept going later in life. When I told her an interview I had done with director Paul Greengrass was in the United 93 script book she asked why I wasn’t just writing books myself. A few years later, when I had achieved the most success I would achieve, she told my father, her ex-husband, that she thought I had squandered my writing talent by not becoming a novelist, by not being a serious writer.

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