I meant to write this several weeks ago, before Mother's Day, but I've had trouble sitting down to try and put into words what this book meant to me. I picked it up last fall when it was new. The flyleaf calls it "a memoir of a family in transition" and mentioned children becoming teenagers, and the search for the right college for Kenison's older son. Because my children are teens, and my son was in the midst of the college search, I took it home.
Kenison was in the midst of more transitions - her family also moved from a Boston suburb to rural New Hampshire, they ended up with a house requiring much renovation, and there were job changes for the parents, as well. Though Kenison's choices were different than the ones I probably would have made, I deeply understood her feelings of struggling to see what would be best for her family, and to balance the sacrifices of each against the benefits for each. Sometimes she took my breath away with the honesty in her descriptions of the arguments with her sons, especially her younger, newly adolescent son who hated the move to New Hampshire. Still, they weathered it all, and came through a stronger family, though one that was beginning to move in different directions.
What brought this to mind as Mother's Day approached, was the sense that while parenting encompasses lots of sacrifices on the part of the adults, the gifts in parenting go both ways, and Kenison clearly shows this in her story. The greatest gifts, she believes, are not in the big days, but in the ordinary days.
Katrina Kenison's website
Katrina Kenison's blog
EVPL copies of The Gift of an Ordinary Day
EVPL copies of Mitten Strings for God, Kenison's earlier book