Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Literary Mama Rewind: Winter

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Welcome to Literary Mama Rewind! Every few weeks we'll round up some of our favorite essays, stories, poems, columns, and reviews from the Literary Mama archives relating to a particular theme. It's January and in many places the winter winds are blowing. These pieces from the archives look at the snowstorms that mothers must weather.

  • Winter Greens by Katherine J. Barrett from the Column Of this Fantastic Peach

Though the earth began its polar shift last month, it’s in January when I look for transformation.

1. Before the children can stand on skis, they lie in the snow crying. At this stage, it is better not even to put on your ski boots.

The pond is a walk from the road, and so we park and bundle the girls into sleds, packing our skates around their padded bodies. We pull them over the icy snow, over the meadow grass and cattails that poke out near the shore. At the pond's edge we sit and fix the girls' mittens and snap their coats up over their mouths.

This is what I know about snow: it's white, it's wet, and it's cold. And this morning, my Pennsylvania yard is covered in it. Which would be fine, except that I haven't seen anything other than snow on my lawn in well over two months.

Mid-winter in southcentral Alaska, you just about have to force yourself to get out of the house. It's only light between 10am and 4pm, and even then the sun--if it's not cloudy--casts a dim, slanted light. For the past couple of weeks we've had mostly gray days. It's the kind of weather that makes you want to stay indoors, sleep and eat, play on the computer.

For the millionth time this week
almost frozen rain splats
against the windshield of my car

  • Scrim by Courtney Mandryk in Poetry

My own child someday will be over there playing in the snow. Big trees overhead. Winter’s last light, I squint to see. Branches signal danger in my lungs, they hang over his head.

It's the kind of frigid, unfriendly midnight when most people are under covers, conked out. Not at the firehouse though, where they're always on duty, where they've been trained to be prepared for anything.


Amanda Jaros is a freelance writer and blogger, focusing on nature and science stories. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including Terrain.org, Newfound, Life in the Finger Lakes Magazine, Highlights for Children, and Cargo Literary. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Chatham University.


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