Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
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****Room to Grow

Twenty-two Writers Encounter the Pleasures and Paradoxes of Raising Young Children

edited by Christina Baker Kline

Reviewed March 29, 2005.
Golden Books, New York, 1999.  197 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (649.1 ROO).

Here is a collection of essays by both mothers and fathers about having and raising children and sending them off into the world.  They are wise and whimsical.  They’ll make you smile in recognition.  They’ll remind you of those sweet times and those infuriating times.

Since all of the parents are, by definition, writers, many of them talk about the same struggle I’ve dealt with—figuring out how to get some writing done while still trying to be a good parent.  They talk about the little jobs of parenting—driving kids around, making cookies for school.  They talk about the big issues of parenting—naming the children, disciplining them, calming them, sending them off to school.

I like the words of Michael Laser, a stay-at-home Dad, as he talks about what he has in common with stay-at-home Moms.  “Once you take on this job, it reshapes you.  Your concerns become not those of a man or woman but of a Parent:  finding activities for your child that engage the body, mind, and spirit (and that get you through the day); creating a balance between rambunctious freedom and civility; locating toilets at the necessary intervals; and avoiding tantrums whenever possible.  Every new mother must learn to be more patient and generous than she has ever been before; and fathers (if they choose the role instead of having it chosen for them by a layoff) are capable of the same growth.”

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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