Mama’s Window – a reflection by Dr. Diane Chakraborty, Psy D, Psychology Fellow, University of Minnesota
You have created a wonderful story and characters who inspire. I really identified with Sugar’s fighting spirit and sense of justice/injustice. Itís very interesting to think about what this may have looked like in the young Owen Whitfield (upon whom you modeled Sugar). When I think about some of the lessons of the book, I feel that one of the most important is about the transforming nature of grief and loss. Sugar moves from grief to integrating the loss of his mother into a loving and active memory. I also love the lessons around confronting oneís fears and/or traumas. It’s nice to see Sugar evolve in (his relation to) nature, to watch the impact of his being immersed in the swamp.
The relationship between Stewie and Sugar was important in that, obviously, so many of us, and kids, deal with serious bullying. The Pearsons’ reaction to Sugar’s fighting Stewie was a nice hook in the story. Sugar’s sense of injustice was very engaging. The story to me- was also about integrity, being true to oneself — honesty, and hard work. The central characters in Sugarís life ñ his mother and uncle ñ personify these characteristics. This is a story that really stays with you.