On Being a Writer and a Mother to Children Who Don’t Love to Read

On Being a Writer and a Mother to Children Who Don’t Love to Read

Last November, I made a birthday cake from scratch for my daughter, and both of my darling kids pitched in to help. My son wanted to help mix the ingredients and make the strawberry reduction for the frosting, while my daughter, ever the artist, wanted to frost and decorate the finished product. It was a blissful afternoon that resulted in a delightfully fluffy vanilla cake with decadent strawberry frosting—and some quality time with my sweet kids doing one of my favorite things: baking. I think, for those of us inclined toward having children, it's typical for parents to aspire to share their interests with their kids. A prime example of this is that my father *loves* fishing. We went out on the lake many times every summer and I can still feel the sun beating down on my face as we spent hours looking for the perfect spot to catch rainbow trout. I'm no kind of fisherwoman these days, but I loved sharing those memories with my dad because I knew he enjoyed the time out on the water with his girls. And even the most apathetic angler feels a thrill at their first catch. When my turn came to have children, I imagined many of those messy days in the kitchen teaching them how to bake sumptuous desserts to impress friends and loved ones. It seemed essential that they learn how to make a perfect cheesecake with no cracks and splits before they go out into the wilds of adulthood. I imagined speaking French with them, so they'd be fluent before kindergarten. Most of all, I envisioned providing them a glorious-vibrant hued library full of books where they would, as I had done, fall in love with the written word. I was going to give them universes to explore, from Narnia to Middle Earth, and what's more, they would love me for it. I figured the baking and the French might be hit or miss, but reading? That would be a gimme, wouldn't it? But as fate would have it, I am the mother of two brilliant, funny, […]

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