Madeline DonahueThe Dream, 2020.
Photo: Corey Towers, courtesy of the artist

The Mother as Anchor for Play

Magdalena Olszanowski
Humor is such a part of our daily experience. Not only kids playing, being silly — but also the whole experience can be so overwhelming that humor is the thing that keeps you afloat.
— Alison Chen

“We… acknowledge the need for frivolity, humor and the absurd,”1 1 - Melissa Goldstein and Natalia Rachlin, “Editorial Note,” Mother Tongue 3(Fall/Winter 2022 – 23): 10. also proclaims the Editorial Note in the current issue of Mother Tongue, a new print periodical focused on contemporary motherhood. This need for a spectrum of feeling is never more salient than in the early days of mothering, of which the poet Adrienne Rich evinces that we “remember little except anxiety, physical weariness, anger, self-blame, boredom” punctuated by moments of “passionate love.”2 2 - Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood As Experience And Institution (London: Norton & Company, 1995), 60. Of course, what Rich remembers is not little but a totalizing gamut of contradictory emotions spun by mothering.

You must have a valid Digital or Premium subscription to access this content.

Subscribe to Esse or log in now to read the full text!

Log in
Pages intérieures Esse 107 Famille
This article also appears in the issue 107 - Family

Suggested Reading