In an album now lost, there were four near-identical photographs that traced the complete relational arc between my mother and I. We're at a family event, maybe a wedding but likely a Bar Mitzvah. The decorative tones are sandstone with tea rose accents, the rubbery green fronds of a houseplant reaching into the frame. In the first one, she (my mother) looks into the camera, holding me (a baby) high against her chest. In the second, we’re looking at each other in what I recall as perfect contentment. The third, she’s handing me to a tall dark-haired woman. In the final shot, my mouth opens in a muted scream, my [...]
Ellen Willis was born in 1941 in the Bronx, grew up in a middle-class family, and, for a while, did what was expected of her: she married “a nice Jewish boy from Columbia while majoring in English at Barnard,” writes her daughter, journalist Nona Willis Aronowitz, in her introduction to her late mother’s recently published compendium of essays, The Essential Ellen Willis. At 24, though, Willis divorced her husband, got an apartment in the East Village, and started writing about rock, politics, culture, feminism, and sex. She went on to become the first rock critic for The New Yorker, an editor and columnist at the Village [...]
Mother's Day, let's do this! Maybe your mom is not alive, maybe she is somewhere very different than you are. Maybe you're the mom, maybe your friend is a mom. Maybe you feel like the mom of a website.
In any case, here a few really lovely pieces we ran in advance of Mother's Day last year, and which — like so many things we've been lucky to feature — deserve repeat readings/viewings. I think so, at least!
– "Moms," by Jon Cotner and Claire Hamilton
– "What I Meant to Do," by Simone Eastman
Also, why not, "[...]
When I was five years old, I had multiple obsessions: side ponytails, fuzzy stickers, and Teddy Ruxpin, to name a few. But my greatest obsession by far was my mother. I was head over heels, rom-com-style in love with her. I followed her everywhere she went, hid in her skirts, and slept curled in her arms. I was a barnacle and she was my fungusy rock.
I loved her so much that I flat-out asked her to marry me once. I don’t remember this, but she told me that one night she was reading me a bedtime story and I just blurted, “I’m nuts about you! When I grow [...]
The most notable thing you learn when you try to Google “Mothers Who Kill for Their Children” is that not a lot comes up. They’ve been pushed down the page by a more popular phenomenon: Mothers Who Kill Their Children.
Oh my god, the news media loves a Medea narrative. We are fascinated when a woman seems to violate her biological imperative and slaughter her own young. There are listicles and slideshows and rankings. Mothers who drown, mothers who strangle, mothers who poison, mothers who beat.
But this isn’t because mothers—who are, as a class, known for caring pretty strongly about their offspring—don’t kill for their children. Throughout [...]
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I couldn’t make it to your brunch But I hope you had a lot of fun I want to explain to you why I flaked It has something to do with that guy I told you about, Jake?
We hung out last night and had an awesome time We were still hanging out this morning at 9 And, well, you always told me I should seize the day So I thought I would bring him to meet you, okay?
He’s totally sweet, and respects me, I swear Which is why [...]
The other day my 15-year-old daughter and I were discussing her top choices for colleges, and she breezily mentioned that she didn't want to make the mistake of ending up like her poor uneducated parents.
This comment thrown out so casually shook me. And, mind you, spoken from our hilltop home with the vast ocean view. Rented, yes, but we do live here, thank you very much.
But let me start at the beginning. I wasn't university material. My teachers told me I'd do great if I just applied myself, but I didn't have the patience or drive to seriously consider college. The vague marketing and business majors [...]
I do not believe in ghosts. That's the first thing people usually want to know, after I tell them about the-things-that-happened-that-one-summer. I'm a vegetarian and I sometimes attend sweaty yoga classes, but for the most part, I'm not superstitious. I'm a reporter. I like facts. I get down with climate change, Inspector General reports, and the pill. So let's pretend that the-things-that-happened can somehow be explained by warming weather, coincidence, and a yet-unnamed mystery particle that straddles the border between matter and anti-matter.
Or, you can just say I'm crazy. But I'm not, really. Probably.
The story takes place in my former childhood home, where my sister and I spent [...]
In case you missed it and are feeling especially Mother's Day-ish: Slate has a really sweet photogallery of grandmothers with their signature dishes, more pictures of which can be found here.