A mother’s heart

Photo credit: To show them Jesus

My second post for my column Mothering Heights came out today:

Two years ago, Good Housekeeping asked me to submit an essay for its Mother’s Day issue, only 700 words. I was a mother only a few weeks old. The long wait for a child—16 years—had led us to Anna, whom my husband calls “God’s Best.”

I wrestled with the essay, perhaps the hardest I ever had to write. My heart had been reeling from tenderness, from bruising, from delight, from doubt.

The William Wordsworth sitting on my shoulder was no help: any spontaneous overflow of emotions, he had said, should be “recollected in tranquility.” I shushed him: a mother is hardly tranquil.

By the third GH deadline, I still hadn’t written much. My words sounded cheap, sentimental.

And then there was Ernest Hemingway: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.”

Writing is at once egotistic and humbling, a struggle between vanity and vulnerability. The truest sentence—my truest sentence—is the one I needed to tell my daughter.

Read the rest of the post here.

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