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Showing posts from August, 2014

Gimme Some SAP (Sexy Ancient Poetry)

About ten years ago, I touched the pages of an illuminated manuscript in a library in Rome. It was a moving experience. Usually, the precious artifacts preserved in museums for hundreds or thousands of years are locked away, untouchable, except by experts wearing sterile gloves. But this time, for whatever reason--maybe just because it was Rome, where such artifacts are common and life is sensual--I was allowed to touch, with my naked fingers, the soft grain of a sheet of parchment, the scraped thin hide of a living creature, complete with hair follicles visible near the edges, lovingly crafted and written over in artful script, with ink handmade from vegetable tannins, applied with quills of feather and brushes of hair, illuminated in gold leaf and the powder of precious gems.

I don't remember what the content of the book was, but I remember becoming so aware of how different the experience of creating a book or manuscript (not just reading or looking at it) must have been a th…

Mommy Brain, Mommy Heart

Yesterday morning, I snapped at my daughter because she kept begging me to play with her while I attempted to have a quiet moment of sipping coffee and reading Eat, Pray, Love. (Irony?)

This is the kind of situation when a bookish, scientific, information-addict mother like myself and many moms I know might crack open a parenting book or do a quick search online for resources on how to cope--how to respond, what words to use, when to play with the child and when to set boundaries for "me time."

But I've come to realize that most of the time, I already know how to behave properly. I know what I'm supposed to do and say. The problem is not a lack of knowledge but the emotional difficulty of making it happen. More research findings and parenting tips and expert-recommended phrases are not what I need to cram into my cluttered mommy brain.

What I need is some love and joy to stuff into my cranky mommy heart.

Sometimes those tips and tricks come in handy. A lot of tim…