Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mother Talk

I called a friend of mine at her office on Friday at 4pm, asking her if she would like to join me for an event I was planning on attending in just a few hours. I didn’t have a problem going by myself, but since it was kind of different, I wanted to share the experience with someone. With her usual cool flexibility, my friend answered, “I’m in.”

And so we found ourselves participating in a MotherTalk literary salon in Morton Grove, a suburb just north of Chicago. Our hostess—Kim Moldofsky—is a food blogger over at Chicago Parent, and she had gathered about 20 moms to meet and talk with Rachel Johnson, the charming, young British author of Notting Hell.

For a few hours this group of disparate moms (from the city, from the suburbs, from England) made themselves comfortable while discussing the writing life, working, staying home, raising kids, food, and recycling.

I met some lovely, interesting and competent women that night, and I listened to their views. But it struck me that with so much in common (as mothers), we tend to focus on our differences—how Americans and Europeans view the Green movement, how suburbanites and city dwellers view recycling, and how we view each other’s parent/work philosophy.

But it’s all about the dialog, so I applaud Kim and her extraordinary effort at building community.


Cindy Fey said...

How DO suburbanites and city dwellers view recycling differently? That sounds really interesting.

Kathy said...

That's a good question, and I've been trying to pinpoint the distinction.

My very general feeling is that in many (or maybe most) suburbs, recycling is part of the town's culture. Whereas in Chicago, it's more like a subculture.