On Mothers

One of the hardest realizations in life, and one of the most liberating, is that our mothers are neither saints nor saviors — they are just people who, however messy or painful our childhood may have been, and however complicated the adult relationship, have loved us the best way they knew how, wi

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Twenty Days with Julian and Little Bunny by Papa: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Almost Unbearably Sweet Account of Sole-Parenting His Small Son

Nathaniel Hawthorne (July 4, 1804–May 19, 1864) was forty-seven when he became five. He had never had a childhood himself — his father, a sea captain, had died when Nathaniel was a small boy, hurling his mother into a near-catatonic grief from which she never recovered.

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