I don’t quite remember how Beth Kephart and I first met; it feels as if we’ve been friends forever. More than two decades ago, we were young mothers at the same time. We bore babies within a year of each other – beautiful, sweet-souled sons who didn’t fit the mold or pass the tests or walk or talk on schedule. Sons we loved passionately, observed endlessly, fretted over, and prayed for.
Motherhood gave each of us our first subject. And I suspect we both began to write for much the same reason: not because we had things figured out, but because we didn’t. Alone with our wondering and our worries, we turned to the page; perhaps it seemed to each of us the safest, most accessible place to wrestle with our mysterious maternal baggage — the unanswerable questions, irrational fears, and secret self-doubts, all inextricably bound up with our faith and hope and unwavering dedication to the vulnerable, precious beings we’d delivered out of our bodies and into the world. Writing about the joys and heartbreaks of raising boys who seemed destined to forge their own solitary paths through the untrammeled territory of childhood, we found our footing as both mothers and writers. And then, through grace or happenstance, we found each other. [continue...]