I don’t remember when I started reading the Big Mama blog. Probably before I even knew what the word “blog” meant. It was certainly long before I ever considered starting my own blog, or even had the slightest clue how to do it. Maybe that’s why it feels like I’ve known Melanie Shankle, AKA “Big Mama” forever. Some might even call me a Big Mama hipster. Not anyone I know, but still.
Over the years, Melanie has made me laugh out loud more times than I can count. Her blog is the place I go to at the end of a long exhausting day because I know that not only will she get me giggling, but she’ll do it in a way that lets me know I’m not alone in this crazy world of being a mama.
And that’s what her new book is all about. Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turntakes you through the journey of motherhood, in all of its beautiful messy wonderful hilarity.
I don’t know if this is in any of those books about parenting, but if I had to give you a definition of what motherhood really looks like, I might just say it’s a woman who catches her child’s throw-up. With her bare hands.
I can’t tell you how many times I shouted “Yes! Me too!” while reading this book. I had to restrain myself from emailing Melanie every 5 seconds to tell her exactly how my crazy stories compared to hers (because nothing says “I love your book” like 50 bazillion emails).
But that’s the best part about her writing, and always has been. She has a way of cutting through the Pinterest/Facebook Mom highlight reels that we tend to compare ourselves to, and writing about what motherhood is really like.
Because raising a child is a fleeting moment in time that sometimes gets swallowed up in the daily routine of car pools and soccer practice and Can I get away with serving tacos for dinner again tonight? And yet it’s quite possibly the most important thing we’ll ever do. It’s the daily balance of treasuring the moments even as we wish some of them away. It’s treading water in a sea of imperfections. It’s a delicate dance of guilt and joy.
I’m grateful to Melanie for many things. For being faithful in writing, for inspiring me to find my own unique voice, and for that day in January of 2009 when she taught me how to tie a scarf. Seriously, that was a milestone in my fashion life.
Sparkly Green Earrings officially comes out tomorrow, February 8th. I would tell you to grab a copy, lounge in a chair with a glass of wine and read it cover to cover in one sitting. But you’re a mom, so do what I did: Read it in the carpool line, during those 15 minutes of silence when the kids are pretending to nap, and just before you turn out the lights at night. Through the laughter and the tears, you are sure to catch glimpses of yourself in her story, and you won’t want to put it down.