Waiting for Birdy
Today, Tracy shares a book recommendation:
“As I progress in my pregnancy with our third child, I find myself wishing for a connection with mamas in the same situation. I’m finding that the further away from the “first baby” club I move, the more difficult it is to find those all important connections with moms who are dealing with the same anxieties, concerns, and joys that I am. Expecting the first time is nothing like doing it the second and subsequent time(s).
Which is why reopening my copy of Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman was like connecting with one such mama. While Newman, a Massachusetts mama, is writing about expecting her second, and final, child, I find her essay-style commentary of the issues that a mom can face when growing a family to be spot on. Each time I read it I recognize myself in another passage. It’s a personal, inside look into what it’s like for her and her family to experience the “wild magic of growing a family.”
I consider Newman to be one of my favorite writers, although most of what I read of her is online (she writes a weekly column for Wondertime, and has her own blog). Her ability to distill the worries and joys of parenting into a few slick sentences strikes a chord that can leave me aching for the next installment. Whether I’m crying at her poignant turn of phrase, laughing out loud at the antics of her children, or seeing myself in the neurotic angst of parenting, there is something about this mama’s writing that engenders a feeling of solidarity with mamas everywhere.
Reading her column, I find myself saying, “I know…I really KNOW what you mean.” Or, “Oh goodness, that happened to us yesterday.” I’m also inspired to be more mindful as a parent, because the moments that Newman notices in her writing might sometimes go unseen in my life if I didn’t get the reminder that the moments are important, too.
Maybe it’s because I recognize a neurotic, kindred spirit in her that I love this book (and her columns) so much. Other (read: less neurotic) mamas may not find as much inspiration as I do in what she has to say. Overall, though, I think she offers a fresh, contemporary perspective on what is like to mother in today’s world, to want to do better for our kids without undoing ourselves, and to take it all in moment by moment so we congratulate ourselves for doing the hard work, and revel in the times of bliss.”