I’m halfway through a book of her most treasured columns, collected after her death in 1996, and already I’ve laughed (a lot) and cried (a lot) and thought to myself, OMYGOD this woman GETS me. I want to swallow every word she’s written, IMMEDIATELY. But of course, I don’t have time, I have three kids and piles of laundry and lunches to pack. Erma would understand.Read More
I’m changing my word. Can you do that, mid-year? I don’t know the protocol for the whole word-of-the-year business. But I’ve decided I’m changing mine. Or at least, changing the definition slightly. And since my word was originally “open” - meaning, I want to be open to new ideas, new challenges, new perspectives, I think the shift is actually quite apropos.Read More
I went to see Ann Patchett last night at our local bookstore. I didn't have a ticket, and the event was sold out, but lucky for me, I was number one on the standby list. The nice man from Boswell told me that he had asked Ann Patchett herself if it was OK if he let me in and she said "he'd better."Read More
1. Always be prepared. Of course this means having a perfectly clean writing space. If you must spend an hour sorting through old letters, arranging your stationery by size, color and purpose, or organizing your pen drawer, so be it. It will be impossible to work with that chaos surrounding you.
2. If you don’t have everything you need on your desk to write well (e.g. a candle, an inspiring quote, a lucky mug, framed pictures of loved ones, your writing talisman), now might be a great time to dash to TJ Maxx to find what you need. (And you might as well get an extra jar of olive oil, some pillowcases and a copy of Brown Bear Brown Bear while you’re at it, you are already there).Read More
Both my boys have eczema. The younger one has it worse, the red patches pop up like a daily game of whack-a-mole on his little body. Scaly clouds behind his knee, and a constellation of pin-pricks across his belly. We have the steroid cream the doctor prescribed, but I like to think of myself as a ‘natural’ mother, I grew up eating fruit leather and carob, for christssake. So it sits on the shelf reserved for worst-case scenarios.
I spend hours searching the web for ‘natural eczema remedies’ – but they almost all involve giving up dairy and wheat, and I just can’t do that. (um, hello, French toast Saturdays?) In this way, I am a terrible mother. Selfish, lazy, hypocritical. Of course I would do it if his life depended on it; I’m not THAT terrible. But he doesn’t seem bothered by it, nor does my pediatrician. So I let it go.
I let a lot of things go. Don’t we all? That’s the only way it’s possible to survive this motherhood gig. If I make it look effortless, it’s only because I choose not to bother. Or at least, I do it half-assed, which I clock at a smidgen above lazy.
It drives my husband mad, because he of course sees all the little things I let go. He sees the half finished projects all over the house, and can find me by following the trail of open cupboard doors like Hansel and Gretel following crumbs. And speaking of crumbs, he only need look at the floor to know that I do indeed feed our boys while he’s away.
Read the rest of this essay here at Mamalode.