Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Afterbirth - Dani Klein Modisett

This is a collection of mostly humorous, but sometimes painfully heartbreaking, essays by Hollywood writer and actor types, about the joys of parenting. With that loose theme to bring all the stories together, the essays themselves actually cover an incredibly wide array of subjects - from infertility to adoption to accidental pregnancies to parenting like our parents to parenting nothing like our parents to huge mistakes to regrets to unimaginable happiness. This book will make you never want children while simultaneously making you smile at the wonder that children bring into this world and all our lives - even if they aren't our own children. I particularly enjoyed one essay about a woman who adopted a one-year old daughter from China - and the difficulties she encountered with attachments disorder. There were also a couple essays that dealt with the conflict between Ferberizing (allowing your baby to "cry it out") vs. sleeping indefinitely in an enormous family bed. In this day and age where there is a book about everything, and people are so quick to hand out definitive and judgmental advice about child-rearing and who should and shouldn't be having babies, this was a refreshing collection of evidence that there is no one way to do it right - and while there are many ways that seem wrong - in the end, we're all just experimenting and hoping to do our best.

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