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The Incarnations of Motherhood

There are many incarnations of motherhood.

The joyous, nervous, nauseated expectant mother.

The sleep-deprived mother of a newborn who never knew her capacity for love while at the same time feeling resentful for having to put someone else so far ahead of herself.

The harried, stressed, exhausted mother of a toddler who longs for naptime and bedtime, but misses that sweet, sticky child when they are sleeping.

The mother of elementary aged children, always trying to keep up with their projects and assignments, their friends and activities, their moods and their needs.

The mother of junior high aged children who tries to impart advice upon deaf ears while their beloved child rolls their eyes at her as she tries so hard to stay active and aware of their lives.

The mother of the high schooler who struggles to maintain a balance between being their friend so they will confide in her while also being their mother and praying that she has done a good enough job and that they will make good choices and decisions.

The mother of almost-grown children who gives advice and guidance while also taking a step back to let them make the choices and take the next steps in their life.

Each incarnation has had its difficulties and its rewards, its struggles and its beauty. I feel so blessed every single day to have been here for this journey and I pray every day that we all get to continue to take it together, even if together means miles apart, in different states or countries, even.

Before I had children, I had about a 25 minute commute to the school where I taught and on that commute, I would pray. I would spend time talking to God. When I was pregnant with my oldest, I would pray every day for her health and safety and I would think, I can’t wait until she’s born so I don’t have to pray for this….until one day I realized that I would be praying for that health and safety and happiness for the rest of my life.

And I am blessed to do so.

4 star reviews, contemporary fiction, Women's Fiction

The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

4/5 stars

I was almost done with this book and I thought: I am so grateful that Abbi Waxman has another book coming out in July (and I actually have that book in my Netgalley queue right now!!).

I absolutely love Abbi Waxman’s unique, quirky voice. She is witty and funny and sarcastic and with that she tackles difficult topics. She shows how we have to keep breathing and walking and moving forward and laughing even when life is hard and messy.

The Garden of Small Beginnings is the story of Lillian, whose husband died in a car accident in front of their house almost four years previous. She had an infant and a toddler at the time. She fell apart. She had to be hospitalized. Thank God for her sister who swept in and took care of everything. She and her sister are super close (as I was reading the book, I kept hoping that my girls will have a relationship like Lillian and her sister Rachel do when they are adults).

Lillian is an illustrator and even though the textbook publisher she works for is going under, she manages to land a job illustrating an encyclopedia of flowers and vegetables for a seed company. She agrees to take a gardening class taught by one of the seed company’s owners. She can bring her daughters and her sister wants to tag along, too. At the class they meet an assortment of people: a retired banker, a surfer, two retired teachers and a single mom from the projects. The teacher takes a liking a Lillian and she realizes that she is attracted to him as well, but she is not sure if she is ready to date yet. Together with their teacher, they form a bond, helping each other plant gardens at each of their homes, and being there for each other through big life events. It made me long to take a gardening class and hope I would become friends with all of the other participants.

If you have a sense of humor, you will like this book. If you are a mother, you will like this book. If you like books about messy life stuff, you will like this book. I really enjoyed it and I would not mind being friends with Abbi Waxman — I bet she is a blast to hang out with!!