What do you have to say about Motherhood? Tina Fey and a video blog from ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’

Catherine

As I look back on what I have written,
I can see that the very persons who have taken away my time are those who have given me something to say.
Katherine Peterson

Yup.
She is right.

The blog series running here within Laundry Line Divine called ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ was initially inspired by my desire to create opportunities to share stories of mothering and creativity with other women.

I thought it seemed like a good enough reason to invite other women to share. Now, I have women sending me posts at a rate of about 6 a week, at least. This sets my head spinning. The depth and beauty of the posts, all different, all savory with the piquant flavors of raising children and sweetened by those very experiences which in turn, raise us.

Half her life ago now, age seven

I know there are readers of the Laundry Line who do not have children. This blog series is not exclusive to mothers, it just invites them specifically, because as a culture, unless we are talking about products- and there is history here– read about the advertising campaigns of the 1950s designed to make Rosie the Riveter want to return home and stay home- the voices of mothers have not been given equal value in our culture.

Women artists, creators, inventors and innovators are seeking equality. We have been at this for generations. As a writer and artist who is a full time Mom, I am sharing my stories and invite you to share yours. I have room for you here, whether you are creating books, like my dear friend Joanne Tombrakos or creating peace with your four children, like Dr. Deborah Gilboa.

I am getting more relaxed about these video blogs. My son has been watching them, offering me only a small amount of scorn. I can tell there is a bit of pride in him, proud of me, surprised by me a bit. This is his third week with a broken leg, at home in bed and he has graduated from literate infant to literate toddler. Yesterday, he successfully used his crutches. Today, he is exhausted by the effort.

Ben when he was eleven

Like the time I see it is taking him to recover from his skiing accident, so is my ability to move this ‘Out of the Mouths of Babes’ project ahead. It is every bit a part of me, as my visual work or my parenting and equally susceptible to interruption. This post has taken me hours to write. I cannot move this work any faster than I can move my son and his 25-pound casted left leg. He is the living expression of ‘One Step at a Time’.

Ben racing 2011

Catherine, my girl, has been eternally patient these weeks and just a little cranky. I have been looking at this photograph of her, comparing her black eyeliner gaze to the wonderment of this child.

By Bonnie Nordoff

Catherine in Miami

Raising children takes time. And those children take time.
As a mother, I have offered my time, a coursing vein of O-positive blood for the life force of my children to quicken and stand independent, away from me. Women do this with all the work we create, infusing our projects with our life force. The meals we plan, our matrix of thought or the vivid arenas of relationship all require our time, our currency of aliveness.
‘If only I had more time’.

How would you answer this question today?
If only you had more time?

If only I had more time? I would share this post with you. Honor Tina Fey for her hilarious and truthful prayer for her daughter and then jump over to my art table and forget the rest of the world exists for a while.

Here is Tina Fey’s prayer for her daughter. You can find Tina’s book BossyPants at your local bookstore. Read this before you run over there because, well, it is snowing here today, life is full of surprises and a little bit of humor makes it all worthwhile.

Love,
S

Tina Fey’s The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor
Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the
creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her
grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean,
swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform,
crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting
on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on
large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels,
roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of
Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,”
and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where
she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get
outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m
asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the
sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and
be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a
Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day –
And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled
invective of her peers
And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V:
Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of
Hollister,Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in
front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord,
That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M.,
all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is
leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off
her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude
will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental
Note to call me. And she will forget.
But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

Amen.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Becky

    Good evening! 🙂 Love seeing the pics of B and C. xo Becky

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