Words of Comfort about Uncomfortable Conversations: Mom, I’m Not a Kid Anymore by Sue Sanders@sueisme @TheExperiment

cover image of Mom, I'm Not a Kid AnymoreMom, I’m Not a Kid Anymore, a collection of essays by Sue Sanders of Portland, Oregon, is an exploration of the awkward conversations and touchy subjects that come up when adults and adolescents are part of the same family. It’s not a parenting guide, at all, but the way the author shares her own experiences and thoughts would be helpful to parents of kids 10 and up, even if only to help you feel less alone deciding what to say or do in different situations.

Essay titles range from “Mom, have you ever smoked marijuana?” to “Will the world be around when I have kids?” Topics the author tackles include body image, drinking, family dynamics, mean girls, and religion, among many other minefield subjects that come up in daily life. The essays span a time period from when the author’s daughter was first old enough to talk up through her pre-teen years. An only child, the author’s daughter, Elizabeth, was 14 at the time of the book’s publication last year. She comes across in the book as a bookish but also practical, kind-hearted, independent-minded young woman who will go far in life.

An excerpt from the author’s introduction:

I like to think that reading these tales is a bit like the advice you get from a friend over coffee: perhaps you agree on some aspects of parenting, maybe you disagree on others, but it’s still good to hear from someone who is going through something similar.

A transplant to Portland from New York City by way of the Hudson Valley, Sue Sanders is a decidedly liberal writer whose essays have appeared in The New York Times, the Oregonian, Parents, Family Circle, Brain, and Child, as well as on Salon, the Rumpus, and Babble, among other places. One of the essays appearing in the book is this Salon article: What If My Daughter Grows Up to Be Republican?, so check it out for a longer sample of the author’s style.

Whether you are a parent or not, if you enjoy essay collections from authors like Anna Quindlen, Ann Patchett, or Katha Pollitt, you would probably enjoy the thoughts of this talented writer.

Mom, I’m Not a Kid Anymore
Sanders, Sue
The Experiment, 2013
Distributed by Workman
256 pp.
$14.95 US

Disclosure: I received this book as a Mother’s Day gift, not for review, from a family member who works for The Experiment, but I enjoyed it so much I wanted to tell other readers about it.

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