in praise of good enough

I had in mind to write about how we are all one another's mothers (and of course, I will), but I fell in love with this and wanted to share it right away. Twelve-year-old Joshua Littman, who has Asperger's Syndrome, interviewed his mother for Storycorps. It's Storycorps' first animated feature as well. Smart cookie. Hard questions. Good answers. Thanks for sending it, Mike M. You have been my mother, and I love you for that. Happy Mother's Day.

Q&A from StoryCorps on Vimeo.
 After you watch this, go here for a totally different take on motherhood, and a fascinating look at lowering the bar, by Julia Baird in Newsweek. You don't have to be perfect. There is no such thing. Cut yourself a break. Allow yourself to be human and even to have a life. Doris Lessing did. Dorothea Lange did. The article: "Lowering the Bar: When Bad Mothers Give us Hope." Whoa...

What a tangle is motherhood. We *are* one another's mothers.

To all the mothers who have nurtured me over the years, who have picked me up and dusted me off, who have spoken truth to me, even (especially) when it was hard to hear, who have soothed me and instructed me and laughed with me and hurt with me, and who have loved me through... Happy Mother's Day. You mean the world to me.

And for my own sweet mother, Marie, or May-Ree, as my dad called her, and Ree-Ree, as my children called her, and who would have been 85 this year, in your honor I made the shortcake recipe we perfected one summer.
Mom would have loved her new granddaughter-in-law. They have equally good taste in setting a fine table, and caring about the nurturing of family.
So I passed on our shortcake recipe yesterday, Mom, for Mother's Day. I miss you. But you were with us in spirit. Love, Debbie


  1. Hey, from now on, I'm going to comment and not email. I agree that this blog needs more comments.

    I also believe that we can contact our mothers who aren't with us except in spirit by reading their recipes. Just seeing "Chalmaine Noodle Cookies" in my mother's hand, cracks me up and brings her back. We live on in the quotidian. Happy Mother's Day!

  2. Annie, thanks for commenting here -- it helps to have comments in one place! I love this story of "Chalmaine Noodle Cookies." You must tell it. Could it be a picture book?? (I also love the word "quotidian" and want to use it in a sentence. :>) xoxo

  3. Thanks, Deborah. I believe your readers think of you as a friend and email you the way they do friends. But, really, comments probably function better for communication around a blog.

    I think my mother's recipe box could make a very nice magazine article. She really is "in there" and I do enjoy visiting. That would be an interesting project while I continue to send "messages in a bottle" to agents....

  4. I'm excited to have folks migrate to commenting on the blog -- it will give us what my friend Nancy W likes to call "whole table conversation." Sometimes email is best, however, and I realize that, too. Write that piece about your mother. One clear moment in time. What happened first? Etc.


Howdy. Moderating comments to prevent spam. I'm sure you're not that. Thanks for your thoughts! Write on, warrior on. Make art.