The buzz from last Friday evening’s Mother Talk has yet to die down. I pick my son up from preschool and a mom stops me with an urgent glance: “I’m so disappointed I missed the Mother Talk! Are you doing it again soon?” I’ve gotten calls and emails from others who couldn’t make it and have heard what a great conversation we had. The calls and emails from those who did come are terrific: grateful, enthusiastic, and also a bit rueful – why didn’t we do this sooner? Why don’t we manage to have conversations like this more often?
Why not? Well, we could blame the kids. It’s hard, we all know, to finish a sentence, let alone a conversation, when you’re negotiating turns with the magna-doodle, putting snacks on the table, and keeping the preschooler’s teeny-tiny lego pieces out of the baby’s mouth. But many of us who attended have known each other since before we became mothers; two of us have known each other fifteen years (yikes!) And some of us do occasionally get together without the kids now that they don’t all nurse all day and all night, and even then some combination of fatigue and familiarity, perhaps, keeps us from digging deep and talking about what really matters to us. Grabbing a coffee on Saturday afternoon while the kids and dads are all at the playground is wonderful, and we’re all happier for it, I know. But it’s good to make an event of conversation every once in a while, to change out of the playdoh-smeared clothes, sit down and really pay attention to each other. We revealed truths to each other, and to ourselves, that had otherwise gone unacknowledged.
I’ve been involved with Literary Mama for a year and a half, but it was last week’s Mother Talk that moved one friend, with whom I’ve often discussed my editing, to finally look at the site, read some essays, and say to me, “The night inspired me to read more, to write more, and to more fully embrace my motherhood.”
Thanks for getting the conversation started, Andi, and thanks to everyone who came for making it such a rich one; we’ll do it again soon!