A beautiful and inclusive anthology of reflections on the spiritual gifts and challenges of raising young people.

Product Code: 6992
ISBN: 9781558968868
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Skinner House Books
Pages: 112
Size: 8.5 x 5.5
Published Date: 07/07/2022
Availability:In stock
Price: $14.00

The August 2022 Justice and Spirit: Unitarian Universalist Book Club selection.

Inspired by the pandemic and her own teenage daughter’s upcoming departure from home, editor Vanessa Rush Southern set out to collect an anthology of reflections on the spiritual gifts and challenges of raising young people. In reflecting with others, she found an array of life experiences, choices, struggles, and insights. She found joy and deep meaning pressed up against all the hard parts, tumbling out between diapers and carpool runs, breaking in like fireworks in the midst of casual conversations, in an email from a birth mother that turns the world on its end. She found that the young lives that intersect or get invited into relationship with our own, however we make or made our way to each other, have the power to change us, all of us, in ways both startling and universal.

This inclusive and diverse anthology includes all kinds of families: chosen and biological, extended families, single parents, divorced parents, and more—a beautiful spectrum of people reflecting on the role children and young people have played in their lives and in their larger search for meaning. Little Did I Know goes well beyond the sentimental to an honest reckoning with the vulnerability and beauty of parenting and caregiving.

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A Season of Advent . . .and Authentic Beginnings by Manish Mishra-Marzetti

Fertile Dreams by Vanessa Rush Southern

Two Pink Lines by Kate Landis

A Helicopter Pilot by Cheryl M. Walker

Letter to Lyla by Marlin Lavanhar

A Friendly’s Ice Cream Baby by David O. Rankin

To Life Ordained by Jane Rzepka

Setting a Course for Love by Peggy Clarke

View from the Dining Room Table by Sarah Lenzi

You Have No Idea by Lindasusan V. Ulrich

Naming and Claiming by Heather Concannon

Andre by Richard Davis-Lowell

Eyes Like Mine by Marcia Stanard

When It’s Quiet by Rebekah A. Savage

Witnessing Grace by Peggy Clarke

Diaper Wisdom by Christian Schmidt

Bad Parenting Award by Jane Rzepka

Our Funny Valentine by Parisa Parsa

Harbors by Marta I. Valentín

Jesus Christ Superstar by Aisha Hauser

We Bring Food by Emily Gage

Love’s Pronoun Is Plural by Elea Kemler

Life So Sacred by Sarah Gibb Millspaugh

A Feminist, Newly Born by Manish Mishra-Marzetti

Pandemic Journal Entry 201 by Robin Tanner

Imani’s Question by Cheryl M. Walker

The Bed by Marlin Lavanhar

Veil by Kim Wildszewski

Another, Truer Song by Elea Kemler

Bit by Bit by Kim Wildszewski

Carried Up to Bed by Elizabeth Lerner Maclay

Almost Goodbye by Vanessa Rush Southern

We Will Tell Them by Robin Tanner

“Love is a crucible for change and the impetus to change. You and I do for love what we would not do for almost anything else. For those we love we rise to the occasion (all occasions), trying to be what and who they need us to be, reaching for all the arrows in our quivers and treasure in our chests in order to try and do so, be so. Little do we know, when we commit to love someone, especially a young child or youth, how it will change us and how much it will demand of us.

Which brings me to now: Leila, my daughter, is seventeen and will be leaving home soon. Perhaps you are good at goodbyes. I am not. As Edna St. Vincent Millay famously wrote, “I am not resigned,” but I need to be mature when the time comes. So I thought that this project would help. A chance to gather up stories and the wisdom that others have found and forged in this part of their life’s journeys, to help me reflect on my own. To try and wrap a bow around it. An anthology that is a ritual of goodbye.

The pieces included are all deeply personal and vastly different. Some of the writers included in the collection chose to be parents and some didn’t. Some chose not to be parents for a time and chose differently later in life. There are aunts and uncles and the family we choose, grandparents, single parents, divorced parents, bereaved parents, ministers—a spectrum of experience offered by people reflecting on the roles children and young people have played in their lives and in their larger search for meaning.”

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