It wasn’t lost on me that I read Kate Hopper’s lovely memoir, Ready for Air, earlier this month, while in the air myself.
Beside me, squeezed into the too-small middle seat, my 6’1″ son Jack was reading his own book. I kept glancing over at him, aware that this was the last trip the two of us would take together for quite a while. Aware, too, that I was already preparing myself for the moment when I would bid him goodbye in Atlanta, leave him to his new life as a student there, and fly home without him.
Kate’s subtitle is “A Journey through Premature Motherhood.” It sounds specific, and it is. This is a story about a baby girl born too soon, about a young woman’s struggle to be strong and brave in the face of one terrifying complication after another, of a marriage that is tested and ultimately strengthened by adversity, of a baby whose struggle to survive offers both a compelling read and something better: a reminder that, in the largest sense, our human stories are all variations on a theme. For isn’t the real journey — through motherhood, through every relationship we ever have, through life itself — really about learning to work with things as they are rather than as we wish they could be? [continue...]