Motherhood, that is.
You know how it sometimes seems that nobody gives a rat's heinie about motherhood, other than mothers (and, maybe, sometimes, fathers)? Isn't that one of the reasons why you found yourself drawn to this website, and/or to mommy-blogs, and/or to any real or virtual space where other human beings are interested in talking about mother-stuff or where, at the very least, nobody will roll their eyes at you for talking about diapers or organic baby food or what the heck is up with Uniqua from the Backyardigans?
Yes, well. If you sometimes feel that nobody outside of the momosphere and playgroup gets how very, very interesting motherhood is, you need to know about this: this week, in Toronto, there's a whole conference going on that is exclusively devoted to the subject of motherhood. It's hosted by York University's Association for Research on Mothering (yes, by god, there is such a thing!), and it's going to be great. Academics, artists, writers and all sort of creative and intelligent persons are gathering together to discuss all aspects of the amazing, frustrating, joyous, life-changing, world-changing thing that we mothers do. They're going to be talking history, politics, art, environment, culture, health, policy, academe - everything in the whole wide world, and how it relates to motherhood.
Actually, I should say we - we're going to be discussing those things. I'll be there: on Friday afternoon I'm presenting a paper, entitled "The Public Mother," on motherhood and citizenship, and what it means, or might mean, to mother publicly. It's an extension of my academic work in political philosophy, but I promise - if you are at all interested in coming to hear it - that I won't be too political scientist-y or philosopher-y about it: I'll be talking about mom-lit and mom-blogging and representations of moms in film as much as I will about Aristotle and Rousseau.
And it won't just be me there, either: Ann Douglas, who you probably know as the author of the fantastic 'Mother Of All (Pregnancy) (Toddler) (Etc) Books' series will be speaking, and some fantabulous local and local-ish bloggers and mother-writer types - Jen of MUBAR, Andrea of Beanie Baby, Dani of Postcards from the Mothership and Marla of Hello Josephine, to name a few - will be there as well. And too many other amazing and inspiring women to mention. (Oh, okay, just one more: my friends Devra and Aviva from Parentopia! Oh, and Andrea Buchanan of MotherShock and Literary Mama! And, and... I'll stop now).
If you're in Toronto, there are day passes and session passes and event passes to the conference, so it's worth having a look: you can find details HERE (I'm Session D3, if you're interested. 5 - 7pm. Very inconveniently opposite Ann and Jen, et. al., who I wanted to hear.) At the least, you might loiter around Courtyard Marriott downtown and soak up all of the mother-love (and maybe do a little blogger spotting!) before hitting H&M in the Eaton Centre. And if you're not in Toronto, why not visit the blogs of some of the amazing writers that I mentioned above? If you haven't read Ann Douglas, MUBAR, Beanie Baby, Postcards from the Mothership or Hello Josephine, you're missing out on some great writing by mothers - and I promise you that a few minutes spent at their blogs will convince you that motherhood is indeed a fascinating subject.
But you already knew that.