Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Listen To Your Mother

Listen To Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We're Saying Now Edited by Ann Imig
I am absolutely delighted to share this book with you. It is the book that is closest to having a conversation with family or your closest friends that starts out something like "Remember when...?" There are so many essays written in this book that I could muse about, so many stories I resonated with, and connected to my own personal experiences. The "Swimsuit Edition" by Jennifer Sutton was particularly touching. At what age do you lost the resolve to stand boldly in your bathing suit? Jennifer reflected on her daughter, without a care in the world, just wanting her Mom to join in the fun at the beach. Embracing your stretch marks and imperfections is much more difficult in practice than in theory. I think she captured that sentiment perfectly.

I won't lie to you and tell you that some of the stories won't rip your heart out. They will. If you are anything like me, the word mother is synonymous with angel. Promise me you will pick up a copy of this book, and I will tell you about my mother. Do I have your word? Okay, here I go.

My mom is a nurse. For most of my life she spent her years as a Nurse Practitioner in the Ob/GYN department. When I first learned what that meant, I thought it was horrifying. I asked her, "Mom, why would you choose to work in that department? It's gross!" She replied, "so advocating for women's health and saving women's lives is gross?" Hmmm, hadn't thought about it like that. I didn't realize the tremendous impact my mother's work had on people's lives until I heard stories. People would find out we were related and say how lucky I was, and that my mother was an angel walking the Earth. If I had a dollar for every time someone said "your mom is the best person I know, the kindest, most gentle spirit", well...you know. I would have a few more bills paid off. The truth is, there are people who have their mother because of my mother. There are people who can pick their babies up and swing them high into the air, and blow raspberries on their tummies, and sit in the front row of their daughter's wedding because of my mom. How cool is that? What an honor to be the daughter of a woman who has people say that about her. If you talked to my mom, and offered up your flattery, she would talk about how wonderful you were and point out your accomplishments, or why the world is better because you are in it. She is the soul who always, I mean always has something kind to say about another. There aren't enough hugs, kisses, or ways to say I love you and thank you for being my mom. You truly are my gift, Mom. I love you. I promise to show that same kindness to others, and to teach Kenna Roo that she is beautiful no matter what, and to live a life of service. But, sorry to tell you I will let her shave her hairy legs before I was allowed to. xoxo

This book was truly wonderful! A thank you to G.P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Group USA for the advanced copy of this book.

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