Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Book Club Lets Moms Be Regular People, Too

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Book Club Lets Moms Be Regular People, Too

Article excerpt

Byline: Elizabeth Seney, Shorelines columnist

One of my favorite things about my book club is that it's all about us. (And books, of course.) It's not about our children. It's not about our significant others. It's not about our pets. It's about us. Even though we are all mothers, we spend very little time talking about our families. This is important because women with young children tend to develop their adult friendships around their kids.

It begins with young mothers chit-chatting outside of preschool classrooms while they wait for pickup. They also bond while pushing the swing at the playground. They introduce themselves as "Joey's mom" at Little League games and at school functions. Mothers share all kinds of information about themselves and their families while waiting in driveways for their children to find their missing shoes inside their friends' houses. Young mothers' social fabrics are well-knitted around their children's lives. Even when they hire baby-sitters for an adult night out, you can bet the topic of conversation at dinner revolves around the little ones left behind.

Some of my dearest friends are people I've met through my children, but it is nice to reach a certain age or stage in life when you also make friends on your own. It feels wonderful to realize you can carry on an interesting conversation without even mentioning that you have kids at home. Our book club consists of a new grandmother all the way down to a mother of a young elementary school child. But it's not about the kids, and that's the thing.

Now, having said that, I totally corrupted our last meeting. I smuggled my oldest son's just-arrived-in-the-mail graduation photo into the group by slipping it inside the cover of my book. "Oooo, come look at this, look at this," I squealed to my friends as I opened the little paper folder holding the photo and passed it around like some proud mother hen. …

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