Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

May 20, 2020. That date on my paper calendar has sported an asterisk for over a year. Written underneath the date in pen—something I rarely use on a calendar—are the words Z and T graduation. Z and T are my …

She tried to understand him, would ask him over dinner what he was doing all those hours in his room. He gave terse answers out of the side of his mouth in between bites of meatloaf or green beans. YouTube. Reddit. Chatrooms. Nora pictured a big square room with soft couches and dim lighting, although she knew it wasn’t a real room.

let your bare toes take root everywhere they will / let the wind shake loose your laughter

It was two in the morning. The drum of sadness beat inside her until the building pressure pushed tears out, until she could only see the blur around her. She knew then she was residing in the dark place.

Another person in her situation—90 years old, with spreading pancreatic cancer—might have opted to skip voting altogether.

She feels the eyes of other mothers. Other mothers and their secret lives.

Aunt Louisa carries bacon with her wherever she goes. She says it's for the dog, but her lips shine when she smiles and her kisses taste of singed flesh and salt.

Nora’s boy never wore anything that didn’t have pockets, the contents of which always elicited a mixed effusion of wonder and annoyance from his mother.

Nine jobs. That's how many jobs I left, lost, or was fired from, before I started writing.

my mandibles as serrated as my remarks / about the life she chose—she flies backwards.

feeling married and enclosed / as rain flecks our windows, // lashing the car, the road, the grasses, / the bright and hot transformed

For now, we are returned to nature: he is wanted, he wants not.

let your bare toes take root everywhere they will / let the wind shake loose your laughter

the left pea pod is asleep / they are craters on the dead / surface of the moon / or maybe they are tiny / mouths of goldfish

I think writers, actors and musicians—all artists in fact—are drawn to elemental themes of life and death, childhood and parenthood, and they find ways to place themselves both inside and outside of powerful emotions. They can access extreme states while remaining detached enough to practice their craft and render the emotions for others.

Lisa Heffernan, cofounder of the parenting website Grown and Flown, talks to Marianne Lonsdale about why the teen years have become more difficult.

Karen Raney's debut novel All the Water in the World is a candid illustration of the bond between a mother and a daughter faced with an ugly disease and newly developed secrets.

The Beginning of Everything: The Year I Lost My Mind and Found Myself, the 2019 memoir by Andrea J. Buchanan, is a story of pain—intense, debilitating pain—and a slow crawl toward wellness. It is also a story of isolation, uncertainty, and finding beauty in the struggle of life.

Grown and Flown is one of those parenting help books that targets a specific, underserved niche: the older teenager as he or she is wrapping up a high school career and heading off to college.