Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Changing the World One Diaper at a Time

On the way home from school today, I popped in a Beatles CD and started singing along. During "She Loves You" I realized that, in my mind, I was hearing my mom's smooth alto singing harmony along with John, Paul, George, and Ringo. I grew up knowing that a love of the Beatles was one of the foundations of who my mother was, which probably explains why I love them so much. She was born in 1953 (sorry Mom, just outed your age) so when they came over to America in 1964, she was ten years old and ripe for the mania they inspired. When they appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, she desperately wanted to watch them; however, her father didn't like their music and had outlawed it in the house. But he was dying from lung cancer and so took pity on his youngest daughter and gave her permission to watch the famous shows. I don't know if she screamed when they performed, but she still talks about how Paul shook his head while singing the "Oooo" on "Twist and Shout." And she smiles every time.

Mom still has her Flip Your Wig game, plus three of the original bobble heads (she never did get her favorite, Paul), plus most of the albums (you can't listen to them anymore because she played them out) and a few 45s. She remembers talking with her best friend Barbara about whom they liked best, and how they felt a little guilty for choosing just one (Paul for Mom and John for Barbara); they didn't want to hurt the other members' feelings. She can explain all of the details of the Paul is Dead conspiracy and remembers how painful her Beatle boots were to wear.

Dec. 9, 1980: For one of the few times in my childhood, when I came home, Mom wasn't smiling. She was quiet and almost whispered the news to me: John had been shot to death. At all of seven, it didn't have a big impact on me. I had a hard time associating the long-haired angry looking man with the happy mop-headed boy I knew Mom loved. But when we watched the news that night at supper, she cried, and that I will never forget.

Our house was always filled with music when I was growing up: The Beatles and Carole King from Mom. Steppenwolf and KISS from Dad. And whenever I hear John, Paul, George (my favorite), and Ringo's harmonies, I think of my mom, and it's good.

Changing the World One Diaper at a Time by Marla Taviano is a girlfriend to girlfriend look at how being a mother changes a woman inside and out. Taviano, who's also written the wonderful Is That All He Thinks About, tackles motherhood from a Christian point of view from preconception to the toddler years. Almost every woman dreams of holding a little bundle of joy in her arms, and sometimes motherhood is just like that, but those moments are few and far between. Most of the time it's feedings, diaper blow-outs, marathon crying sessions, and exhaustion. Taviano reminds readers not to lose sight of their marriage or themselves in being a mom. Her stories are hilarious and heart-breaking told by women who have been through it all and want to share their stories with other women who understand. She also tackles the tricky topic of moms attacking other moms for their parenting. Breast vs bottle, working or staying at home, etc. And pulling no punches, she lets us know that we need to be supporting each other, not tearing each other down. Amen! Postpartum depression, nursing, sex, Taviano covers it all (as usual) with humor and grace. This would make a perfect book for a first time mom or even for a mom with a few years practice in. I haven't had a child in diapers in a couple years (Thank God!), and I enjoyed every page.

Today's pic is of my mom getting ready for her junior prom. Isn't she beautiful?


Marla Taviano said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Christy! So glad you liked the book!