Although Mama is a strong woman, she isn't an overbearing one. She loves and respects her husband, and they are truly a team. She is also generally accepting and tolerant of the faults and foibles of others, unless those flaws become hurtful to someone she cares about. And, though not loud and demanding, Mama usually manages to get her way when she thinks the issue is an important one, such as making the Aunts accept Trina's marriage. Also, when her youngest daughter, Dagmar, is hospitalized and not allowed visitors, it is Mama who with quiet ingenuity succeeds in getting in, rather than Uncle Chris with his blustering demands.
To sum up, 'I Remember Mama' is a portrait of an ordinary woman with all the worries and cares of every day life. What is extraordinary is her willingness and ability-which all good mothers have- to put the needs of her children before her own. She- with Lars- provides a loving and stable home environment, dispensing wisdom and comfort when needed, giving their children the solid foundation they need to build their own lives on.
Many years ago I read a book called 'Master Skylark', set in Elizabethan England. A phrase from it which stuck with me was one uttered by Elizabeth herself- something to the effect that "...a boy who loves his mother grows into a man who loves his country." While this is a bit of a generalization, it's true that children with wise, loving mothers and stable families have a much better chance of becoming well adjusted individuals and solid citizens. So, to my own and all other mothers who are "fighting the good fight," thank you, and happy Mother's Day.
* A movie adaptation was filmed in 1948 and starred Irene Dunne as Mama.
* 'Mama', a television show based on the play, ran from 1949 to 1957, and was quite popular.