"The lead singer of the band has blue eyes and blond hair that curls long and shaggy past his ears. His wiry body stands relaxed in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. He sucks in his cheeks when he plays the guitar, his face an impassive mask of concentration, but once in a while one corner of his mouth lifts. When I catch his eye, I smile at him and he looks quickly away, as if he never saw me. I’ll be taking him home after the show."
Motherlode: Essays on Parenthood.
This essay has been in process for nearly four years. The first kernels of it began sprouting not long after M started guitar lessons. It lived in an earlier version, called "The Boy in the Band" (thanks to a writing prompt from Lisa Romeo) in Issue 12 of GEMINI. During the last semester of my MFA program, I worked on it with my mentor, the indomitable Aaron Hamburger, after we got all that pesky fiction out of the way. And then I worked on it some more and some more and some more.
I wrote it as I lived it and lived it as I wrote it. All the while, more experience fed the writing, as I worked through the situation and into the story. In the end, I think it's an essay that asks (but does not answer), how do we keep our children safe in the face of unknown dangers?
And now I'm very happy to share it with the world in the new collection, Motherlode, which you can get as a FREE Kindle e-book today through Sunday (October 24-26, 2014) here (No Kindle? You can download the viewing software onto your PC).
Alongside my piece are several wonderful essays: Stephanie Vanderslice on that painful but inevitable growing apart that happens when your child reaches a certain age; Ann V. Klotz on being an expert on teenage girls, but still struggling to raise teenage daughters; Julia Poole contending with her own fears and prejudices when her son joins the wresting team.
I would love it if you got your free e-book version and came back here to let me know what you think. And if you'd rather read a real actual book made out of paper that you can hold in your hands, you can get a copy here.