Marina Koestler Ruben
I take both kids to vote. We have to get to work and school, so we’re in line before 7 a.m. I tell my tired, cold five-year-old and tired, cold two-year-old that we are lucky we can exercise this Constitutional right. “It will be worth it,” I overpromise. “One day, you’ll tell your own kids how I woke you up early to vote. We’re voting for the first female president!”
Jessica Franke Carr
He wouldn’t even touch a crayon. Fine motor delay, you eventually learned, is just another common symptom of “being on the spectrum.” Everyone says early intervention is key, but it took you four years just to convince a doctor he had high-functioning autism, even though you knew since Day One because it was like looking into a mirror. A mirror that doesn’t make eye contact.
Everything on my body had loosened and fallen out of place. My hips still wobbled in their sockets when I walked, and my brain had literally shrunk (or so I’d heard on a radio show). I fiddled with the misshapen bun that flopped on the back of my head. In my round-the-clock effort to feed Connor, washing and sleeping had fallen to the wayside.
Meghan Moravcik Walbert
Pieces of BlueJay, memories of all the bedtime stories Mike read to him and the songs I sang to him vibrate through that room. The sign with his name still hangs on the back of the door. The star lamp we bought for him remains dim.
Polly Duff Kertis
I’d heard that all a baby needs is to know that it was wanted. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to fake it. I touched the ugly secret with the satisfaction of tonguing a toothache. I clung to it. I laughed about the surprising nature of the situation, self-deprecating, in a way that I hoped sounded charming. I felt like I’d failed as a mother before the baby was even born. What pressed back was the notion that I hadn’t even wanted to be a mother, yet.
Kimi Cunningham Grant
Stash a reasonable amount of nostalgia in a string-topped bag from a resort you once visited: Fuzzy Bee, the turquoise toy with buttons you bought the first time you ventured into Walmart without another adult, a few sleepers, a blue onesie with doggies. Get rid of the rest. Give it all to your best friend who is having twins the same week you’re having your uterus removed.
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