There’s something about a mother’s love that inspires gift giving. “Mama” is the first word some of us say, surely a gift to her ears. And she might have been the first person we gave something to, not for any occasion, but out of the desire to bestow something in the twin impulses of “I love you” and “I see you.”
Maybe it was abstract art in the medium of crayon, which she displayed on the gallery of the refrigerator door, hung low enough for the artist to appraise. Maybe it was a bunch of dandelions, relaxing in your hand on the trip between the yard and wherever she was.
I invite you to give your mother another bouquet, a little more time-taking in the picking but longer-lasting and more varied than those drooping blooms of long-gone summers, through adding your own words to my gift book for mothers, Everything That Makes You Mom: A Bouquet of Memories.
Where to Order
- Barnes & Noble
- Eighth Day Books
- Square Marketplace (I can send you a signed copy)
- In Australia, Koorong
Fifty Things About My Mother
The genesis of the book was my essay titled “Fifty Things About My Mother.” It was chosen by Susan Orlean as the winner of the 2013 Iowa Review Nonfiction Award, and was published in the journal in December 2013, with an excerpt — 15 of those 50 things — on their website. The entire essay, with photos of mom and me, was republished last Mother’s Day at Slate. It was named a Notable Essay of 2013 in this year’s Best American Essays anthology.
Book Tour 2014: #mombouquet
The book went on the virtual road last spring, as 25 or so writers reflected on their own mothers or interviewed me about the book. Each post is a distinct bloom in our collective bouquet. Find them all here.
Blog Tour 2013
April 12, Arkansas: Newspaper colleague Phil Martin kicked off the tour in his Blood, Dirt & Angels blog.
May 3, Iowa: Jennifer Dukes Lee writes a loving and honest tribute to her mom in answer to the writing prompt, “Do you remember a time when your mother nursed you back to health?”
May 4, Pennsylvania: Christie Purifoy sandwiches it between a delicious cookbook and a down-to-earth parenting book in her Saturday series, These Farmhouse Bookshelves.
May 8, Colorado: Jonalyn Fincher recalls some great memories of her mother after working her way halfway through the book. (She models the mom-approved virtue of sharing by letting her sister fill out the other half.) I think my favorite story is the one about jelly beans, because her mom did one of the things this book is all about: reflecting the best of people back to themselves.
May 10, Nebraska: Evi Wusk assembles some lovely blossoms of memory (and even some greenery of apology) in a bouquet for her mother.
May 11, Arkansas: Susan Heffern-Shelton uses “secret weapon” as a compliment for helping her win this year’s battle in an ongoing sibling competition.
June 11: Hannah Marie Lei notes that the book might give the reader a new appreciation of Mom.
June 28, Arkansas: As Melissa McCurdy points out at Gerbera Daisy Diaries, honoring moms with our words is appropriate year-round.
July, Central Minnesota: The Central Minnesota Moms did a nice little review. For the record, we remained lawfully on the sidewalk while glancing in neighborhood windows, and then only ones with the curtains wide open. Mom’s humor could be so dry that even I missed it sometimes.