Motherhood & Words

Over the last year, I have tried to be very deliberate about being thankful. We have continued are pre-dinner ritual of going around the table and listing things for which we’re thankful. D and I, especially in the last few weeks, have been thankful—very thankful—for his new job. But even when there wasn’t that prospect, that light at the end of a tunnel, we were able to find something for which to be thankful: our house, the generosity of our families, our health, our beautiful girls. When we go around the table, Stella almost always says: “I’m thankful for our family, and that we’re here together eating.” Sometimes she’ll throw in something else—that Christmas is only a month away or that she gets to play with a friend the next day or that her Auntie Sara is visiting. Even Zoë babbles away when it’s time for her to speak: “Nanana and Stella and Zoë okey okey okey.” And then she laughs her infectious high-pitched gremlin laugh.

Today I am thankful for you, for my community of writers and readers in cyberspace. This fall, which has been long and challenging, was made less so because of your words of support and encouragement. (My grandpa is doing okay and we’re all hanging in there with him.) It was also made less hard because of your stories, the journeys and struggles you share on your own blogs.

Being a writer can be so lonely, so isolating, as can being a mother. But I don’t feel isolated because I can always turn to your words, immerse myself in your stories. Or I know you’re there, reading mine because you have left a comment or sent me an e-mail. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this.

I have a blog award from mummy mania and cath at musings in mayhem that I’ve been sitting on for months. (Thank you both!) It’s time to pass it on.

I am supposed to list seven things about myself and then pass the award to seven blogs. Instead of seven facts about me, though, I’m going to list seven things for which I’m thankful (in addition to the things I’ve mentioned above):

  1. The matter-of-fact way that Stella tells me stories, her eyebrows raised, her blue eyes wide: “Really, Mama. That really happened.”
  2. The way Zoë runs from one side of the house to the other and back again, legs and arms pumping like a miniature linebacker.
  3. That my parents both live nearby and that they love to spend time with my girls.
  4. Friendships old and new, virtual and in-person. What would I do without my friends?
  5. That my daughters know their great-grandfather.
  6. Teaching and my students—my wonderfully smart, talented students.
  7. D—for everything.

Okay, I’m going to pass this on to a few blogs I’ve been reading for a while and a few that are newer to me:

hatched by two chicks: dispatches from the nest — Erin is a really wonderful writer whose essay “East Wind” was in Creative Nonfiction a few years ago. We connected in June around the time I was weaning Zoë.

Louise Kinross writes the wonderful new blog Bloom— Parenting Kids with Disabilities, in which she highlights the stories of young people with disabilities and their parents. You don’t want to miss this amazing blog. It never fails to touch me.

mama sweat—Kara’s blog always makes me laugh, though it does sometimes make me feel guilty for not running. (I haven’t been running. Why haven’t I been running? Oh, yeah, I forgot that I don’t have time to run. Kara somehow manages it, though, and she has *four* kids.)

finding joy in simple things—Mary is wonderful, and her blog makes me think, sometimes makes me cry, and always makes me appreciate the small things in life.

heart-heal-hope is Sara’s blog about loving and losing her first child, Henry, and living with and loving her second child, Kathleen. She writes about her journey with incredible grace.

lisa romeo writes is full of wonderful author interviews and writing discussions. This is a must-read for writers and readers.

the motherhood muse blog—this is the blog associated with the new online journal The Motherhood Muse, which will launch in January. Check this out.

Thank you all!

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I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. kristenspina on November 24, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    What a beautiful post, and I can't wait to check out the blogs you mention. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. BLOOM - Parenting Kids With Disabilities on November 24, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    What a wonderful surprise and incredible honor to be included on your list!!!!!!

    I know of Mary at Finding Joy in Simple Things and Lisa Romeo and will so look forward to checking out the others.

    Thank you so much Kate! It's been wonderful getting to know you and your family through your blog. This award inspires me! 🙂

  3. cath c on November 25, 2009 at 10:42 am

    happy thanksgiving to your family, kate.

  4. Mary on November 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Kate — WOW. Thank you!! I was stunned and honored to be included on this list! I love several of the other blogs and will certainly check out the rest.

    I also adored your list of things for which you are thankful, especially the ones about Stella and Zoe. It's so hard when so busy to appreciate these things our little ones do. I do try.

    Thanks again — you know you have inspired me in so many ways. I'm grateful for you, your writing and your teaching this season!

  5. Mummy mania on November 25, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    I think you sum it up for all us isolated mummy bloggers… well said. and thanks for the thanks. off to look at your recommendaitons.

  6. Erin on November 25, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    How kind of you!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Kate. How thankful I am to know you.

  7. Kara on November 30, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Oh Thanks Kate! While I'm barely squeaking out 2-3 runs a week I've lost time for reading blogs!! And I miss reading yours. I am so honored to be included among such esteemed writers and bloggers. Thanks for this good thing!!

  8. Lisa Romeo on December 6, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Thanks for the mention and the kind words, Kate! The feeling is mutual, and I'm happy also to be in the company of the other fine blogs you mention.