Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

What image comes to mind when you hear the term father? Someone old and bald? Young and fearless? Someone clad in scrubs, a business suit, or a chef’s hat? A person sitting behind an easel, painting, or in front of …

My three-year-old is rocking back and forth on a plastic pony while I supervise my one-year-old in the Tot Spot, whose high point is a single structure with one stair on each side that my daughter climbs again and again and again.

I used to be precious about my writing time. Everything needed to be just so before I could start laying one word after another. My sacred place had to be perfect: my office, espresso, a little Miles Davis, and no interruptions. What a crock of shit.

Find alternate routes / as if there is another path through this thicket, / as if we are sleeping beauties / and can be kissed out of our darkness, / as if we can cut away kudzu / and it will stop letting down its insidious hair…


I have seen, too, a different side of my parenting. I've become the mother I need to be for these two children—strict, consistent, relentless, encouraging, patient.


I fear that Noah is too young to make decisions that will affect the rest of his life.

With gentle precision she placed the ultrasound wand and focused on the screen. She paused. Then I heard her inhale slightly.


I take a deep breath, frustration rumbling beneath my skin. "Get back in bed, please."

Right from the start I knew I was going to win. I felt locked in like never before as the teenage adrenaline surged through my body.


Despite the hard parts, her daughters have brought her such deep happiness. She wants them to be happy too.

This sudden jolt of mortality has injected into my veins a savage desperation to write.


I still love beautiful words, but parenthood has expanded my definition.


We have an awesome mix of Father's Day reading recommendations for you to choose from in this month's Essential Reading.

I hear him as I approach, / his voice soft and quiet, / humming melodies of services / written by ancestors in centuries past.


In a cloth box underneath the bed I / keep my father's sweaters / there are three I love especially / old boiled wool / in blues and greens...


I can’t stop myself from lurching every time my one-year-old wobbles, gasping every time she finds the perfect pointy woodchip to suck on.


Upstairs and sleeping soundly / my neighbor says / his placid second child, / this time a son, / arrived two weeks ago, / today had foreskin clipped...


coasting swells nothing like the adrenalin / that used to course through, / making you feel every inch a man.

Many times, when I was at the keyboard, it felt as if I was talking to him rather than writing about him.


I honestly don't know how you can shelter kids today from the "real world." It seems like you'd be trying to shelter them from encountering gravity.


I’ve been drawn to work that is short and creates a tight, singular moment, even before I had kids, but now it is a necessity.

In 2009, a week after Gayle Brandeis gave birth to her third child, a son, her mother Arlene hanged herself.


Romeo reveals that their relationship was a confrontational one, based on "his always needing to be right and my always needing to prove he wasn’t."


He stretches the lyrical essay all the way to poetry, although he is also a realistic writer of considerable skill.