author of Feeding Eden

Lightening Up

It's a cliche ... but I believe that laughing can make almost anyone (and especially parents) feel better about almost anything. That's why I like to read laugh-out-loud writing at the end of trying days. And lately, between winter weather, an upcoming publishing date and my children's school responsibilities, it seems my whole family can become over-wrought.

My favorite humor memoir to date is Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me. I know - might be old news but I have to recommend it anyway. Another favorite title from a few years back is Mennonite in a little Black Dress. This book was such a surprise because the author, Rhoda Janzen, isn't a famous comedian or comedic writer. (She is a poet Ph.D) But what both these women have in common is that they make fun of themselves more than anything. I love that.

Of course, some memoirists don't have funny things to write about and some of us can only enjoy (and envy) the talents of humorous authors. But all of us can take a turn taking ourselves less seriously. And when my kids are feeling anxious about homework or friendship, seeing me lighten up about my worries helps them do the same.

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