Tuesday, May 6, 2008

For the moms


When Aidan was born, my good friend Angie put together a book of "mother wisdom" for me, with short essays by my favorite moms---my sisters, my mom, my mother-in-law, and my closest friends who had children. It remains one of my favorite gifts ever.

When I became a mother, I was shocked at how little reading material accompanied me. Oh, there were plenty of "how to" books and I read plenty of them. But there were so few that offered a glimpse into how an individual had made her own way down the joyful and guilt-filled path of motherhood. (Notable exceptions: Tillie Olson's "I Stand Here Ironing"; Lorrie Moore's "People Like That Are the Only People Here", and a few Grace Paley stories. If any others come to mind, please leave the title and author in comments. Thanks!)


I have an insatiable need to read, and reading something that actually applies to what I'm living is a rare treat.  Which is why I'm so grateful for all the mothers who are sharing their unique journeys online. I'm grateful for all the mothers I've come to know via this blog or their blogs. 

In celebration of Mother's Day, I want to share some of my favorite posts by them:

By the Seat of Our Pants by Catherine Newman, on one of the worst pains in parenting

Loving the Mothers We Are from PrairiePoppins

Good, Better, Best from Stephanie in Alaska

Slow Learner from FinSlippy

Humanity by Pioneer Woman Ree

Press On from Molly Irwin, refreshingly honest about one of those days

Not having a *system* from MollyCoddle, a short reflection that this system-lovin' mom needed to read that day... 

And the best essay I've ever read on mothering, by the great Anna Quindlen.

Finally, for all the moms out there, Billy Collins reading "The Lanyard". You'll need to turn off the music if you haven't already. It's the first of the three poems he reads in this clip (thanks, Katie--great minds think alike!):

Enjoy your Lanyards this weekend. That is the magic of motherhood---we can find delight in anything made by our offspring:-)

And do me this favor--- hand over your camera this weekend. Get a shot of you with each of your children. 

In making Sean's ABC album, the hardest part was finding one photo of just him and me. There are possibly three photos of just me and Nolan out of the 1001 photos we've taken since he came home. Of course I don't like how I look in any of them.


All I see here, besides sweet Nolan at 5 weeks,  are the dark bags under my eyes, the pregnancy weight I've yet to lose, my need for a comb.

But I know enough to realize someday I'll find it priceless.


  1. Four more titles of great Mom stories...some that bring your quote of the week to mind. And all four gifts from you at just the right time:
    edited by Camille Peri and Kate Moses
    edited by Chirstina Baker Kline
    by Katrina Kenison
    by Anne Lamott

  2. thanks so much for mentioning my post. I'm looking forward to taking some time tonight to read the other posts you mentioned.
    happy early mother's day to you!!

  3. I'm taking this opportunity, since you have your comments up, to tell you that I read your blog on a regular basis and I really love it.
    Congratulations on the birth of your newest baby boy. He really is so sweet!!!
    Happy Mother's Day to you as well and
    P.S. I think you look beautiful in that photo, but I'm right there with you about only seeing my own flaws in photos with my kids, which are incredibly rare!!! :)

  4. Ah, Angie, thanks so much for the reminder of those titles. I gave Maria "Child of Mine" this year and have loved remembering certain essays via her feedback. Gotta love Anne Lamott. I should reread Kenison this year...
    Growing up, it seemed my mom always had a clipping of Erma Bombeck's column on our fridge---so this celebration of sharing stories has a long history:-)
    Greetings, Kate! It's always exciting to hear who is reading this little experiment. I look forward to perusing your site later tonight.
    Early Happy Mother's Day to you too, Molly! And to all the moms checking in here.

  5. I think this photo is lovely.
    The best book I've read on this issue is "Believing it all" by Marc Parent - it's written by a man, but insightful and sweet.


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