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leah at agirlandaboy dot com

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About Leah (It's not my real name!)


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BlogHer Book Club Reviewer
April 11, 2008

Girls Gone Child

Rebecca Woolf, of the fabulous GGC and "Straight from the Bottle," has just released her new book, Rockabye, a memoir about the conception, gestation, and birth of her son, Archer. I asked her to send me a copy so I could give one away through this website, and a few days ago I cracked it open, just to see how it started, and ended up reading the first several chapters while I was supposed to be helping Simon make dinner. Three pages in, I already had tears in my eyes, and it wasn't because someone was chopping onions nearby.

Rebecca is a born writer, and I've been excited about her memoir for months. I held off pre-ordering the book for reasons that may have had something to do with the downward spiral that is wanting a baby so bad your teeth hurt, but now that I can read the book without wanting to throw it and/or myself to the ground in despair, I can't wait to dive in headfirst. I have my swimcap on and everything.

(Other things I can do now that I am finally pregnant again include seeing Juno, buying How To Have a Baby books, and changing my BlogHerAds profile from "trying to conceive" to "currently pregnant." Yeehaw!)

The book Rebecca sent is signed (with love), and when I saw that, I briefly considered forgetting about the whole contest and keeping the book for myself. Then I realized that she had my address and would come after me if I re-negged remembered that she would very soon be touring her hot self into a bookstore near me and I could just show up and have her sign a personalized copy (preferably with some tidbit about what an inspiration I am to writers everywhere (HA)), and so the contest is back on.

Here's the deal. I've done an awful lot of public bellyaching over the years about how everything having anything to do with women of a "certain age" is by default connected to motherhood. Everyone--marketers and advertisers, websites and other media, even social networking groups--assumes that we all have children (babies, mostly), and those who don't shouldn't complain that they're not allowed into the special club because hey, if you want to be included, go have yourself a baby, duh. Oh, if it were only that simple.

If you suspect that quite a bit of what fueled my controlled rage at this policy of exclusion was jealousy, you are exactly right. I hated that stupid club because I wanted so much to be a part of it. (Wow, does it suddenly smell like teen spirit angst in here?) But still, in an effort to calm the fuck down, I always tried to temper that rage and jealousy by acknowledging the admiration and appreciation I felt for that stupid club, or at least for the mommyblogging community, which has, for five years now, been the older sister I never had. I would never know so much about the various substances that come out of small humans were it not for you, sis!

It's in that spirit that I'm opening the contest to NON-MOMS ONLY. If you have a kid, please excuse yourself and go have a cocktail; you're probably due for one right about now anyway. If you don't have a kid (yet or ever)--and this includes you ladies and gents with gestating fetbryos and/or adopted children waiting for you on the other side of the world--here is your task:

Tell me about your favorite mommyblog post ever, along with a short (short!) statement about why you love it so. Does it make you laugh? Cry? Sew your ladyparts together and run screaming from the room? Does it make you wish you could have that parenthood experience too? Does it make you hope you never have to endure that kind of misery/pain/clean-up?

Leave your statements and links in the comments or email them to me at leah [at] agirlandaboy.com. I'm giving you the whole weekend to think about it, so post your picks before Monday at midnight (California time), at which point I'll select a winner using a complex logarithm and a wagonload of trained monkeys with their thinking caps secured in place with chinstraps. I'll send the book along with other goodies, and if you want, I'll even take the book with me to one of Rebecca's signings and have her personalize the copy for the winner. (If you're on the West Coast, check here for readings in your area.) Let's share the love, people!

I'll go first:

Amanda, who writes at Kicky Boots and is on my Hottest Moms Ever list, produced this video for her daughter Avelyn's first birthday, almost a full year ago. There's a tiny moment, exactly 38 seconds in, which for me distills the shock and wonder of brand-new parenthood into a single look and a gasp. It's just a wrinkle of the forehead and an "oh" at the sound of the baby's first grunt, but it's like the whole world has broken open and rained happy tears down upon itself. I want that too.

Your turn.


How lovely of you to think of us non-moms! I really want to do this right, so I'll e-mail you my entry when I settle in on one. A couple of posts come to mind, so I have to narrow it down!

This is such a fantastic idea and I can play! Whoo-hoo!

But I'm not going to play fairly (you should know, if you ever play Cranium with me -- I cheat). I'm going to pick three.

1. Amalah's "On Having A Boy" http://www.amalah.com/amalah/2007/04/on_having_a_boy.html: Here's a little confession: I want a healthy, happy baby, of course, but, um, I want a boy. I cannot see myself raising a girl because it hurts to think I'll have to watch her go through the things I went through. I don't know if I'm strong enough for it. But when I read this the first time, I cried and cried and cried and realized the greatest joys in life are the ones we are fully and completely unprepared for.

2. This post of Linda's: http://www.sundrymourning.com/50105.htm. That last line. Wow.

3. Finslippy's tribute to her son's teddy bear: http://www.finslippy.com/finslippy/2007/07/rip-minty-bear.html. I cried again, just now, when I re-read it. She captures so perfectly how a mother's heart can break so easily, when her child simply looks at her. This was purely and unconditionally the epitome of love.

Leah, congratulations again. I can feel your joy way through cyberspace to my screen as I read your blog. It's so nice of you to do this.

ps: I'm not a crier, but Juno made me cry. Love that movie!!

You take offense at things, imagine yourself excluded from things, hate people who have what you don't have, think bad thoughts about people you don't know, make divisive decisions. You are going to fit RIGHT IN with the mom club you're so eager to join.

Oh, man. Do I ever love you. This contest is fucking BRILLIANT and so are you. Can't wait to see you in... wow... soon! And LEAH! Holy congratulations on your pregnancy! Can't wait to personally hug and congratulate you.

Nice! Amanda rocks.

Oh how can I pick just one post, that is nearly impossible. I really did like this one from wood at sweet-juniper - http://www.sweet-juniper.com/2008/03/thursday-morning-wood-four-snapshots.html
and I love Dooce's monthly letters to Leta.
I love these posts because they capture the essence of the little moments of life. Although I don't plan on having kids of my own, but never say never, I read these posts to try to imagine just a little bit of what it must be like to have a child.

Ahhhhhh! I'm away from the computer for one day and BOOM! There's the news I've been dying to hear. My warmest and fiercest congratulations to you both! I am so excited!
Also, the way you described that moment made me tear up, it was so perfectly precise.
I am overjoyed for you.

Leah -

What a great contest! Of course, even if I don't win I'm gonna have to go buy this book :)

Now, there are quite a few posts on motherhood out there that I have really enjoyed, but my favorite posts comes from a woman that has had to endure more than her fair share of pregnancy losses. In one particular post she writes a letter to the girl she lost. Here is a blurb:

"I celebrated what would have been your birthday with empty arms and a broken heart. Words could never adequately describe the aching I felt in my soul. You were my dream come true. You were the hope that cancer couldn’t steal from me. You were what filled the hole my cancerous ovaries left behind. You left too soon little one, you left far too soon."

Read the full post here:


Hope it touches you as much as it touched me.


This was such a hard task. I was a little worried about the fact that I read so many blogs by moms or parents.

This is a hard call. I was so excited when Lawyerish got her referral -- it meant I could move her blog into my folder with mom blogs (she was in my NYC blogs folder before that). I was sobbing over every detail, even the funny bits -- George Costanza sweatpants!

Is it cheating if I mention a post from Sweet Juniper, if it was written by Dutch/Jim? It's a recent one, but I can't stop thinking about it: http://www.sweet-juniper.com/2008/03/death-to-thing-that-you-become.html

I totally blew my shot at winning by telling you of the weird way I categorize my blog favs, didn't I?

One of my friends, LittleRazz, a wonderful mother of two wrote a post about her daughters that I loved. Check it out: http://24inchboss.blogspot.com/2007/12/only-one-person.html

It's this post:

Watching it again, my heart just filled to the brim. The laughter and obvious love on their faces is beautiful. It reminds me of a movie at the end when they wave!
I love that SAJ remembers that being a mom includes the "fun" stuff. Sometimes people get too bogged down in the day to day. I hope I don't forget that when I'm a mom someday.

for me it is this video. The video was made by an uncle for/of his nephew.

I have three neicephews. When i first saw this video the eldest nephew was just a few months younger than the dance genius formally known as Arlo (he combines Martha Graham with Tai Chi - Inspirational!). I am continually overwhelmed with all the things that I will miss in my neicephew's lives.

Congratulations again Leah and Simon!

I read lots of momblogs even though I am not a mom. Most of them make me laugh or cry, but this one
made me do both. I was just like Leta at that age instead I sang into a big brown sony tape player. But that same feeling I think my mom probably had whenever she could hear me singing made me love that post the most.

Dooce has provoked me to perform the shameful Crying-in-my-Cubicle dance more than once, but this post on Sweet Juniper obliterates me every time: http://tinyurl.com/3tdvlv
I come back to that post every time I'm feeling a little disillusioned with the world and with people in general. To know how deeply you can love a child (even one that's not biologically yours)...well, that's powerful stuff.

It was extremely difficult for me to choose. My first instinct was to pore through the Sweet Juniper archives to find Just The Right Post, but then it occurred to me that there's a mommyblogger who stands out in my mind even more (even though she's not nearly as well-known), and that is flea of One Good Thing. While I have loved many things she writes about her sons (one with ADD and, I think, on the autism spectrum), these two stand out for me. http://buggydoo.blogspot.com/2006/02/i-knew-this-day-would-come.html Flea writes about her older son just like anyone else would write about any child, but her child has special needs, and she has a way of writing about her experience that makes me feel like I'm a part of it. Everybody has bad days, but when you have a bad day and you have a behavioral disorder, consequences can be much more than you can understand.
http://buggydoo.blogspot.com/2006/05/life-isnt-fair.html I can't imagine the difficulty in parenting two kids, one with a disability, knowing that someday you will have to count on the non-disabled kid to make sure the disabled one gets along OK in life. This is one of my greatest fears about becoming a parent, that I will always fear the future rather than embrace it, that I will be afraid for my children rather than excited about how their lives might turn out. Flea gives me hope that if I do end up having a disabled child, that I'll have the strength and humor to cope and to enjoy raising any and all children regardless of how different they might be.

My vote is for Dooce because I've been reading Heather's blog since before bloggers were bloggers, and this stellar letter wrote to Leta for her First Birthday. http://dooce.com/archives/daily/02_03_2005.html

Congrats again, Leah and Simon!!!


And Bec's book is totally the right thing to read. The exact right thing.

This post--while terribly sad--was one of the most beautiful, powerful things I've read online: http://www.sweetsalty.com/ingliseast/2007/06/the_gift_of_lia.html

(PS: I know I'm "disqualified" from the contest, but I did just want to share that with you.)

Not disqualified. Overqualified. ;)

And yeah, Kate has a special way about her, doesn't she? I'm surprised at how many of you have picked some of my very favorite writers on the web.

My favorite parent post of all time is from Sweet Juniper. It's not a mom-blog but a dad-blog but I figured that counted.


I love this post by Kristin of Better Now, who is one of my favorite writers on the Internet. It's twinged with sadness, but her awestruck love for her son spills out with every word.

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