Everyone has a mother somewhere. There is a mother at dinner with us. (...) Then, the mother of the hostess telephones as we are eating. (...) The mother of a guest is mentioned in conversation.
Mothers, when they are guests at dinner, eat well, like children, but seem absent. It is often the case that they cannot follow what we are doing or saying. It is often the case, also, that they enter the conversation only when it turns on our youth; or they accommodate where accommodation is not wanted; smile and are misunderstood. And yet mothers are always seen, always talked to, even if only on holidays. They have suffered for our sakes, and most often in a place where we could not see them.
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis