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So Begins the Season of Intermittent Childcare
A Summer's Tale
Ah, summer. The days are long and the pools are open and the writing is mostly nonexistent.
(read my interview with Amber here and check out her newsletter on writing,)
As an introvert who loves being cozy, I’ve always had a soft spot for winter but I love it more with each passing year. The months of January and February (sometimes even the first half of March, depending on when Passover falls out) are when I do my most sustained writing because the kids are in school with no long vacations and by the time they get home in the afternoon, it’s already starting to get dark. It’s almost always time to wind down.
The summer, on the other hand, is a time of expensive camps with short hours that don’t even last the entire summer. There are the weeks between school and camp, and the weeks between camp and school. For some reason, there is no camp at all the week of July 4th. On top of the scattered childcare, there is the pressure of increased daylight. We should go to the pool, I think to myself any time it isn’t raining, and that means making dinner and packing up suits and pool gear during any free moments when I might have otherwise squeezed in a little writing. There is no time and little mental space for that kind of work.
This is all to say that there will likely be more time between interviews here but I wanted to pop in and share some stuff I’ve read lately that you might also enjoy:
Kate Zambreno, whose book Heroines taught me that personal writing and literary criticism could coexist and enrich each other, has another book coming out in July and recently published two essays on taking her children to zoos:
I’ve added both of the books on caring for aging parents covered in this lovely n+1 review to my TBR list.
I found’s interview with Kate Carson fascinating. Kate is a longtime moderator of the Ending a Wanted Pregnancy Facebook support group and the interview doesn’t gloss over the points where the two of them disagree about abortion activism.
Finally, I read two great interviews with Kelly McMasters, one last week in, Amanda Montei’s excellent newsletter, and another one this morning in Lyz Lenz’s newsletter, . I was struck, in the latter, by Kelly’s description of encountering boundaries in writing her memoir in essays, The Leaving Season, and how she thinks about her kids:
“Any time something started breaking down and I would feel weird on the page, it was often … where I was inserting myself, my opinion, maybe saying what I thought other people were thinking, all of those boundaries that really were important for me not to cross. I think that it was really hard to walk that line in storytelling. I had to tell myself, this is my job. I'm a nonfiction writer. And yes, it might be really hard for my kids at some points, the fact that their mom's a nonfiction writer, but a lot of moms have jobs that are hard on their kids. This is just the way that mine is.”
This is something that I think about a lot and I’m curious about all of you. Do you change what you write, or how you write about it, because some day your kids will read it?