.....but life got in the way.
I was sent a copy of Danielle Bean's new book Mom to Mom, Day to Day: Advice and Support for Catholic Living. I finished it some time ago, but life has conspired to keep me away from my desk.
Danielle Bean is a lot of things that I am not. She is young. I am not. She's a cradle Catholic. I am not. She is the mother of many. I am not. She's a good writer. I am not.
But for all that, reading this book made me know that I would like Danielle very much in person. There are shelf-loads of books on Catholic wife-and-mother-hood that strike me as very pious, some of them crossing the border into sanctimony. My joke has always been in response to those kinds of books (and you know exactly what I'm talking about) that if I ever wrote a book it would start it with the sentence "I live in a house covered with white dog hair....."
Well, Danielle's book doesn't start with that sentence, but I know she would relate. The book is short, and the chapters are short. They are aimed directly at that mother with toddlers around her feet who is wondering what in the world she has gotten herself into. Dipping into a chapter of this book would be a refreshment to that soul--and the chapter is short enough to read in the bathroom if one had to!
It doesn't hurt that Danielle has written chapters that touch very closely on the things that I tell young married women over and over again. She writes very strongly about the division of labor in the family, not keeping score, keeping in mind the nature of vocation (and why you're doing this!), and making your husband feel important. Key points that are often forgotten in the discussions of "sharing the labor" in women's magazines. She writes about housework--and is clear that it is neither always fun nor always easy.
More than anything, Danielle would make a young mother know she was not alone. And in a world where women with more than 2 kids are faced with questions and judgement everytime they step out the door, this is a very good thing indeed. I think it's a great addition to any shower present you might be giving someone.
I wish I were smart enough to have written it!