Kindra looks at "Take 10: Meditations for the Hurried Parent," by local author Robyn Pratt.
-by Kindra Fehr
For parents, memories are always in the making. Many of us have a burning desire to record them because we know each experience is fleeting and will quickly be forgotten in the next new exciting milestone. In "Take Ten: Meditations for the Hurried Parent," local author Robin Lynn Pratt has preserved and shared these very moments.
Thirteen essays offer tasty morsels of a mother's experience weaving her own childhood stories of mother and grandmother into her present experience as the mom of two growing boys. Each essay is short and sweet, a 10-minute retreat from the hurried life of a parent. It provides a moment of recognition for the reader and a bond with all mothers who have lived through these scenarios with their own unique spin.
Robin addresses the decision to switch careers from a job with pay to stay-at-home mom: " I now see my house as one giant 'In' basket, piling ever higher. I no longer get a lunch break, and I have two bosses threatening me with temper tantrums at a moment's notice." She also acknowledges, "I had no idea how much my identity had been wrapped in what I did for a living until I left the traditional working world."
She writes about the tender, quiet moments with her boys telling stories on a sleepless night or gently sifting through a treasure box of salvaged holographic fruit roll wrappers and yogurt tops. She consoles herself when her son Miles becomes too old to sit on her lap and outgrows cuddling with mom first thing in the morning. It couldn't be an accurate parenting book without pulling over the car, engaging the emergency brake and dishing out discipline of the same sort her mother used.
Although this is a series of parenting meditations, it also includes moments of finding and nurturing herself through music and writing and how these loves play into her parenting. She recognizes that "In addition to parenting, I was always scrambling to supplement my personal needs: being in a book club, a writer's group, quilting and sewing for home and for hire."
When asked, "What would you like your readers to take from this book?" Robin replied, "I hope my readers will gain a sense of companionship and inner peace, the things I was searching for as I wrote each story. Many of us question ourselves, our decisions, our courage and our stamina as we raise our children. But we don't always give ourselves time to reflect on our experience. I tried to be very honest about the conflicts I experienced, and especially about the elusiveness of resolutions. I also hope that my readers will take a little time to watch for their own family's "forever moments," because I think these are what help us define our relationship with our children." I believe that Robin has achieved these goals in an eloquent manner. I recommend that you "take ten" to see if you agree.
Kindra Fehr is an artist and mom to toddler Aria Hancock. She co-instructs the Salt Lake Art Center's KidsmART program.
"Take Ten: Meditations for the Hurried Parent," by Robin Lynn Pratt is available at the King's English Bookstore (1511 South 1500 East), Sam Weller's (254 South Main), and amazon.com. See more information about the book at www.robinlynnpratt.com.