One of the things that I’m most enjoying as I read through this collection is that with a book of essays you can dip in and out and not feel lost or confused as a busy parent might when tackling a much longer and more demanding novel.
In fact, I started reading this book from the back–where Roiphe chronicles “The Way We Live Now” and covers topics like “The Perfect Parent” and “The Child Is King.” In the former, after chronicling all of the ways in which American parents try to sterilize, safety-proof, and perfect our children’s lives, Roiphe asks the reader to consider if perhaps we are “compensating for something [we] have given up…some compromise of career or adventure.” She pushes further and urges readers to let imperfect children be themselves (to quote: “All I am suggesting is that it might be time to stand back, pour a drink, and let the children torment, or bore, or injure each other a little.”)
While I don’t agree with all of Roiphe’s assertions (and, like any good writer who wants to engage her readers, there are many assertions–more on that later), she also implicates herself (she has two kids of her own) and I appreciate that. Whether or not you fall into the category of parent-who-warms-her-baby-wipes or she-who-lets-her-kid-eat-a-little-dirt, you will definitely find something that resonates with you here.
So join us! We’ll be hashing out the details about Roiphe’s book in two weeks from today, on Wednesday January 30th. We look forward to chatting with you!