The places we take our children often set themselves into their lives like pieces of mosaic tile. The edges meet to form the memories that become our family stories. We once took our young children to Cape Cod and created a pirate adventure for them, burying a treasure box filled with toys on an “island” reachable by their small raft. As we rowed there to recover the box, we spun a tale about lost treasure left behind for them by an ancestor.
Many of our best moments were built on family vacations doing the simplest of things. It didn’t so much matter where we were but that we were somewhere together wanting to spend time with each other. These happy times cemented our family together and helped retain the joy during some of the harsher journeys into their adulthood. The open market in St. Marten where my eight-year-old son learned to haggle and then gave his prize lady bug pin to a homeless woman. The kind man they called “Rooster” who used to do magic tricks at dinner. The hurricane night spent in a tiny fishing shack on the Nantucket island coast, huddling together and praying the roof didn’t blow off. I love hearing them recount these stories to their friends because it assures me the times meant as much to them as they did to me.
This month’s issue of MAW arose from a skillfully written Boot Camp piece “The Flowers of Bannockburn” in which Courtney McKinney-Whitaker weaves Scottish history into the story of her visit to Bannockburn with her husband and young daughter. She recounts her trip both through the eyes of a historian fascinated with the legends of the battle that occurred there and those of a mother set on documenting and preserving her daughter’s childhood.
Kristen Ploetz takes us on a captivating voyage under the sea in her quest to define the depths of her love for her daughter in “Benthic Love-On Mothering and Foraminifera.”
Travel to Israel with Sharon Forman in “Conquering Masada with My Seven Year Old” where her young son is more interested in soda and French fries then in learning the ancient Jewish history that unfolded there.
Finally, Alison Wilkinson takes us on her own journey as a mother writer who finds her way through the maze of creating time for both mothering and writing.
This month’s poetry selections will have you visiting cabins and ruins and other enchanting places.
Pack your bags and join us!