I have wittered more than once about how much I love Catherine Newman’s gorgeous memoir Waiting for Birdy. She also writes for a few of my favourite magazines: Family Fun, O Magazine, Body + Soul* (she also wrote for my favourite ever parenting magazine, Wondertime, now sadly defunct).
A couple of weeks ago I decided to email her and tell her how much I love her writing. I’d actually drafted a couple of emails before, but then scrapped them cos I was worried I sounded weird or gushing or dorky. Or all three. This time, I just thought ‘what the hey’ and sent it anyway. And Catherine sent me a lovely reply. Of course she did.
Anyway. She writes recipes for Family Fun online and I just started reading one and had to stop and write this blog post. This – from a recipe for Iced Oatmeal Cookies – is why I love Catherine Newman so much.
“Sometimes I can’t believe that I have become this person–and I mean that in the best possible way. I fold their clean t-shirts and make their dentist appointments and read Farmer Boy and dig splinters out of their toes and kiss them when their school day is done, and I think, “These are my children! I am their mother!” Me. I mean, I am practically a child still myself–at least in my own mind. But I don’t think the kids even think twice about it. I don’t think they ever shake their skeptical heads and think, “We’re onto you and the gappy way you inhabit your mom costume.” They see me, and I am their mother, the one with the boobs that have been nursed down to the floor where they drag along righteously, the one with the morning smell and the busy work life and the good dinners on the table and the irritable loathing of loud noises and the affection that twinkles like a whole galaxy of stars lit up across the heavens just for them. The tax forms come, and that word “dependents” always puts a lump in my throat: my dependents! They are dependent on me. I am dependably theirs.”
* Now called Whole Living