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If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother

If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother

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In these candidly witty and poignant essays, comedienne and writer Julia Sweeney muses on the complex blessings of motherhood: deciding to adopt her daughter, a Chinese girl named Mulan (“After the movie?”); nannies (including the Chinese Pat); being adopted by a dog; and meeting Mr. Right through an email from a complete stranger who wrote, “Desperately Seeking Sweeney-in-Law.” She recounts how she explained the facts of life to nine-year-old Mulan, a story that became a wildly popular TED talk and YouTube video. But no matter what the topic, Julia always writes with elegant precision, pinning her jokes with razor-sharp observations while articulating feelings that we all share.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451674057 | 
  • April 2014
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Julia Sweeney on Motherhood

Julia Sweeney, the brilliant former cast member of SNL, writes as only she can on modern family.

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If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother Prologue
I want to be alone. I really need to be alone.

I took so long to assemble my lovely family. I did it all a bit backward: first a delightful daughter, then a beloved husband. I went after creating family, like a golden retriever running after a ball—how much does the dog think about what he’s doing? He doesn’t think. He does. He is a doer. That’s me, too. I did it, I do it. I am doing it.

Every morning I get up and hustle.... see more
If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother CHAPTER ONE If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother
Because the pillow that I dream on [is] a threshold of a world I can’t ignore.

—Silver Jews, “My Pillow Is the Threshold”

First things first: Let me bring you in the house, which, you may notice, is quite old by American standards. It’s located in Wilmette, Illinois. It has a history, this house. It used to be the Village Hall and was originally built in 1878.... see more

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