It's actually a laugh-you're-head-off-and-smile book, by Susan Law Corpany Curtis, a friend and author who may be the funniest person on the planet.
We've never actually met, but Susan and I chat online about our work, and she never ceases to leave me doubled over with laughter--and I'm a pretty hard sell.
In her recent release, "Musings on Motherhood," her quick, spot-on wit examines her varied experiences with motherhood, from a few stories about her own mother, her years being a single mom to her her son Scott, and then, after a remarriage, she shifts into her stepmother stories, ending with her grandmother stories. There's something rejuvenating and joyful for every mom.
From the back cover:
Served alongside her breakfast in bed, this "momoir" will make any mother less inclined to notice the burnt toast, runny eggs and limp bacon. Warm and fuzzy like a pair of comfy slippers, but with a lollipop stuck to them. There is something here for anyone who has ever been a mother or had a mother.
Stories of finding joy in the midst of the imperfections of family life include:
*A selfless mother who spent so many years losing at Candy Land that even her Hungry Hungry Hippo died of malnutrition.
*Zombies that invaded a novel about to go to press and proof that revenge is a dish best served cold.
*How the author eventually won over her future mother-in-law and ceased to be referred to as "that woman from the internet."
Released on the very cusp of Mother's Day, too late to do much holiday promotion, Curtis says this about her book:
"I have a new book out, just in time to be late for Mother's Day. (Nothing says "I love you" more than celebrating mom all month long.)"
Here are two samples from the book, demonstrating the range of Mommy-buttons Curtis sweetly pushes. The first is taken from a trip to Washington D.C. she and her fiance and their children took.
I asked Thom what memories he had from our Washington D.C. trip. He said his favorite memory from that trip, in which we visited many historic places, famous museums, had a romantic dinner on his birthday, and watched an unbelievable fireworks display, was my visit to a convenience store for an emergency purchase. This confirms my earlier observations that the things we remember from trips aren’t the things we plan but the funny things that happen along the way.
Thom had dog piled with all his kids into a room at the hotel and I shared a room with Scott. On the way to the Smithsonian Museum, I told Thom I needed to stop at the little convenience store located near the hotel for a quick purchase. In the interest of privacy, I didn't tell him what I needed to buy. I think I called it a "cosmetic item." He'd been married for twenty-three years, so I’m sure he could have handled it, but he wasn’t married to me yet. I was trying to be discreet about purchasing something I hadn’t expected to need for another week or so.
I walked up and down the aisles, but I didn't see what I needed. Finally I asked the foreign-looking employee where the "female products" were.
English was obviously not his native tongue.
"Female product. Makeup? Nail polish? I am show you where is the makeup."
I shook my head. "No. Not makeup. Sanitary products."
"Ohhhh. Tide? For wash clothes?"
"Oh, soap for wash hands?"
"Sponge? For wash dishes?"
Thom was standing near the door and wandered over to find out what was taking so long. "So did you find what you needed?" he asked.
"Well, did you ask?"
"Yes, I ASKED!" I snapped at him.
I waited until he walked off again, in an act of self-preservation, and I tried once more to communicate with Rashid.
"Pads," I said again, wondering how else to describe what I needed.
"Oh, pads. For write letter? I have pads, aisle two. Pens, also."
"Napkins? For set table?"
"No, not that kind of napkins." I tried again. "Female protection."
"Pepper spray? I am sorry. Do not have."
I saw Thom smirking over by the door. I could hear him fielding questions from the kids about what was taking me so long.
“She’ll be done soon.”
“Why doesn’t she just ask?”
“Oh, she asked. They’re just having a little communication problem.”
“Why doesn’t she tell us, and we can all look for it?”
“Nooooo, I don’t think she wants our help.”
Finally, in a burst of inspiration I blurted out "Kotex!"
He smiled and nodded in a “Why didn’t you say so?” kind of way and led me to the cash register where the female products were located on the wall behind the counter with the cigarettes and dirty magazines, apparently so that this controlled substance would not fall into the hands of minors.
Think of me next time you are on the line with customer service in India. It isn't any better in person, trust me.
Hilarious, right? Curtis's wit and timing deserve a national rim-shot. And then, she just as easily shifts into a tender appreciation of the imperfections that make families treasures, as she demonstrates in this final glimpse from "Musings on Motherhood."
We were able to get a picture with Great Grandma surrounded by all of her great grandchildren.
It’s a wonderful picture. Belle is cooing. Chase is crying. Diego had to be held from behind to keep him from escaping. Jasmine was bored. Ariel was making funny faces while attempting to hold onto her little sister, Aurora, who was slowly slipping out of her arms.
I smile every time I look at that picture. It is the new screensaver on my computer. To me, it represents motherhood (and grandmotherhood) in all its glorious imperfection.
I wouldn’t trade it for all the picture perfect portraits in the world.
Curtis adds another short glimpse into her motherhood by sharing this sweet note from her son following a delicate period:
It was all forgiven the year my son wrote inside my Mother’s Day card that I was “the apotheosis of all mothers.” I’d tell you to look it up, like I had to, but some of you are lazy and won’t make the effort.