In my 15 years of being a mom, there have been so many days when I just wanted to stop time and bottle up the feeling of a having a sticky two-year-old hand holding mine or getting a big toothless grin meant just for me from a seven-year-old who is so proud of missing front teeth.
I’m really glad I started my blog three years ago because sometimes it’s only when I go back to an old essay that I remember a funny question one of the kids asked me, or a sweet moment that is buried underneath my memory of who has to go to the orthodontist tomorrow and who needed a form filled out yesterday.
Moms are busy; sometimes we need a little push to help us remember the sweet moments of each age. I miss the magic of those sweet days before the tween and teen years arrive and convince the kids that mom and dad really don’t know best.
Leave it to Marcelle Soviero and Randi Olin, the editors of Brain Child Magazine, to create a book filled with wonderful essays from some of today’s best bloggers and writers about parenting. This Is Childhood begins with This is One, by Aidan Donnelley Rowley and ends with Lindsay Mead’s essay, This is Ten.
In between each writer shares memories and sweet spots of each age. Nina Badzin writes of how she finally found her stride as a mom when her first child hit three. As her son began to do more for himself, she started feeling more confident and competent as a mom.
In This is Six, Bethany Meyer writes of her love of the age at which her child still believed in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. And she writes about a six-year-old’s ability to see the world with an open mind and having a fuller heart because of it.
Each author writes a love letter to the age they’re writing about. It made me remember some of the sweetest memories of my three kids.
What I think makes This Is Childhood a little different from your average parenting book is that at the end of each essay, the editors pose a question. For example, in This is Nine, author Denise Ullem is asked, “At age nine, did you see hints of the older person your child would become?” The same question is posed to the reader, with journal pages provided to write the answer.
Whether you’re looking for a gift for your friend who is expecting her first child, your sister who is swamped with homework, soccer matches, and hostile teenage attitudes, or your mom, this book will make them smile, laugh, and cry with each chapter. It will also remind them of their childhoods.
When I was given the chance to review ThisIs Childhood, I jumped at it, not only because it’s from the editors of Brain Child Magazine, but because it contains essays from some of my favorite writers and bloggers, including Kristen Levithan, Allison Slater Tate, Tracy Morrison, Amanda Magee, and Galit Breen.
As luck would have it, I’ve had the good fortune of getting to know Galit Breen this year because we both had essays in The HerStories Project. I even had the fun of sharing with her the strangest place I ever nursed for her column in All Parenting.
Galit has had essays published in several anthologies, is the editor of Pens and Paint, a series anthology of children’s poetry and is a freelance writer for Soleil Moon Frye’s Moonfrye, Everyday Family, Mamalode Magazine, and The Huffington Post. Galit also co-directs the Twin Cities edition of Listen to Your Mother and blogs at These Little Waves
I loved Galit’s essay, This is Four, in which she shared some of the moments she has had going through this age for the last time with her third child and only son, Brody.
She graciously agreed to spend a little time with the Dishwasher.
Galit as a mom of three who has lived through this age three times now, what is it about four that you find so appealing? What about age four do you find to be the most challenging?
I’m in love with the creativity and the wild abandon of words and imagination and play that come with this age. And I find the fierce strive for independence to be in-the-moment hard.
Your two previous times dealing with age four, you were raising girls, how was four different with a boy?
I think with my girls I thought I would know what to expect — the twirly dresses and curly ribbons and long dance parties. With my little guy, I wasn’t sure I’d know what to do with a boy! I went into each of those first few years with him more confident as a mom, but a little cautious and unsure about mothering a boy. But it turns out that so much is the same — from the skinned knees to the sweet hugs and even to the (extra) long dance parties!
This is Childhood deals with ages 1 through 10. Is there one age that you found to be especially challenging each time one of your kids reached it?
Someone once told me that kids ebb and flow between delightful and difficult every six months — so trying periods are followed by breath-easy ones. I’ve found that to be so very true with each of my kids! So the most challenging times have been when more than one kid has been in the trying six months at the same time!
What do you want people to take away from this book?
My hope is that readers flip through the pages of the book and see that every age has its magic. I lean on the sappy side and mourn how quickly time passes. But each essay is such a stunning reminder that there’s so very much goodness to look forward to!
Many thanks to Galit for talking about This is Childhood with the Dishwasher.
And just for a bit more fun, the editors of This is Childhood are giving away a copy of their great book to one of the Dishwasher’s readers. Just leave a comment and you are entered in a drawing. This contest will end midnight on Saturday, May 10, and the winner will be announced on the Dishwasher on Sunday, May 11.
But if you can’t wait, (and I don’t think you should!) you can order it right Here
* I was given an advance copy of this book. No other compensation was provided and as always, all opinions are my own.