The Honorary Moms.

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The internet was flooded with Mothers’ Day wishes and quotes a few days ago, but not all mothers are the ones who gave birth to us. This is a Mothers’ Day wish to all the Honorary Moms who are no less than our birth mothers.

1. Aunt May.

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May Parker (née Reilly) was Peter Parker’s aunt by marriage. When her brother-in-law and his wife died, she and her husband Ben Parker became the adoptive parents of their son, Peter Parker. Being a superhero’s loved one is never easy and her life was plagued with disasters. Time and again she was attacked by Spiderman’s arch-enemies because she was the easiest way of getting back at him. Despite all these troubles and the emotionally crippling loss of her husband in a freak accident, she was determined not to let it affect her life in any way. Not only is she strongly opinionated, she is not afraid of expressing her views. She clearly tells Norman Osborn that his rude and uncouth behaviour was unacceptable when she notices his ill-treatment of Harry.

Initially she is extremely aware of Peter’s frailty and though it may seem annoying at times, she is just worried about him. After he gains his powers, she notices a change in his self-esteem and confidence and is a bit relieved. She is never very accepting of Spiderman acting as a vigilante though and thinks that “the less we see of him, the better.” But once she comes to know of his true identity, she is nothing but supportive to him. Even when she has absolutely no idea about the true back-story behind Peter’s dilemmas, she stands by him. She does not need to understand him to love him.

Her right over Peter as a son is obvious as she is the one who brought him up. Her annoyance at Peter constantly putting himself in danger to find out the truth about his father is justified. But her anxiousness stems from the fact that she wishes to protect him from the very truth that can hurt him. Any fan of the Marvel comics will know that she has faced dangers a lot more gruesome than the heart attack that she had when the Green Goblin broke in through her window and interrupted her praying. It would be so easy for a person to lose faith after this but she didn’t. Even when she found out the real reason behind her husband’s death she was forgiving to all those who were responsible because no good could come of a thirst for vengeance.

She is woman who works extra shifts, struggles to pay the rent and take care of everything without complaining for once. Never once does the warmth of her smile or the concern in her eyes vanish. She is the one who reminds us why each of us is hero of our own story:

“We need a hero, courageous, sacrificing people, setting examples for all of us. Everybody loves a hero, people line up for ‘em, cheer for them, scream their names, and years later tell how they stood in the rain for hours just to get a glimpse of the one who told them to HOLD ON a second longer. I believe there’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble. And finally gets us to die with pride. Even though sometimes we have to be steady and give up the thing we want most, even our dreams. ”

2. Mrs. Hudson.

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Sherlock Holmes’ ‘dislike and distrust’ for women is widely known among the readers of Arthur Conan Doyle’s books. He actually does trick an innocent woman into falling for him just so that he can get into Charles Augustus Milverton’s house. Though he clearly admires Irene Adler, he does not break his pattern for her- he merely salutes her intelligence. The one woman he does break this pattern for is Mrs. Hudson, the landlady of the famous 221B Baker Street.

Not much is said about her in the books except that she gets into several fights with Sherlock regarding the basic cleanliness and tidiness of her house. Sherlock criticises her limited cuisine, but grudgingly accepts the fact that she’s a good cook. Not much light is shed on their relationship until Watson’s states it in “The Adventure of the Dying Detective”:

“Mrs Hudson, the landlady of Sherlock Holmes, was a long-suffering woman. Not only was her first-floor flat invaded at all hours by throngs of singular and often undesirable characters but her remarkable lodger showed an eccentricity and irregularity in his life which must have sorely tried her patience. His incredible untidiness, his addiction to music at strange hours, his occasional revolver practice within doors, his weird and often malodorous scientific experiments, and the atmosphere of violence and danger which hung around him made him the very worst tenant in London. On the other hand, his payments were princely. I have no doubt that the house might have been purchased at the price which Holmes paid for his rooms during the years that I was with him.
The landlady stood in the deepest awe of him and never dared to interfere with him, however outrageous his proceedings might seem. She was fond of him, too, for he had a remarkable gentleness and courtesy in his dealings with women”
In the BBC version of ‘Sherlock’, their bond is much more obvious. She’s a mother figure to both John and Sherlock and though he does not express it often, Sherlock is fiercely protective of her. He even makes Mycroft apologize for being rude to her. Their relationship is very believable, which may be also due to the fact that Una Stubbs, who plays Mrs. Hudson, was a close friend of Benedict Cumberbatch’s mother and hence, had known him since he was a child. She is very supportive of the relationship that she (and a million other fans) think John and Sherlock share.

Even after Sherlock’s (and Benedict’s) real mother steps into the picture, she remains one of the sassiest, coolest and most accepting moms in the history of television.

3. Professor McGonagall.

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I think we all remember Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall screaming exasperatedly “Potter is a boy! Not a piece of meat! ” in ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.’ Book readers often get into tiffs with the movie watchers because some characters are so thoroughly altered n the process of translating them to their on-screen counterparts, that they are hardly recognisable. Thankfully, nothing so monstrous happened to Minerva McGonagall. Maggie Smith’s portrayal of her is absolutely spot on even though she has been denied some of Professor McGonagall’s most iconic lines.

She is the typical headmistress that we all have- strict, scary but just. She does not warm up to Harry in the beginning and many may not consider her mother-like at all. She treats him like all other students. But behind the scenes, it’s obvious that she cares for this orphaned child. While Dumbledore views the entire plan objectively and sees Harry as a mere pawn, she protests against this treatment. She vehemently opposes Harry being allowed to take part in the Triwizard Tournament which had claimed the lives of many in the past. Though she knows that Harry Potter is no ordinary boy and that he is the part of a much bigger picture, both she and Molly Weasley insist on treating him like a normal teenage boy. Both these women help him stay grounded.

The scene, where she jumps to Harry’s defence when he is told by Umbridge that he’s aiming too high with his dreams of becoming an Auror, is perhaps one of the best parts of ‘Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix.’ Harry too risks his own life by revealing himself and cursing the Carrows for disrespecting her in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

She may not be comparable to Mrs. Weasley but she truly cared about each one of her students, no matter which House they belonged to.

This is a tribute to all those women who may not get cards or greetings or the recognition of a mother from the society, but remain a very important part of their children’s lives nevertheless.