For Mother’s Day this year we bring you an essay by freelance radio producer Alysia Abbott, whose mother died when she was only two. Raised by her gay father, a poet, in San Francisco, Abbott writes about the conflict between the “magical chaos” of her childhood and her desire to give her own children a different, more structured life. But order, like chaos, she finds, has a price. (Right-click/option-click to download or click the green “play” button to stream)

“A Mother’s Lament” by Alysia Abbot

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Alysia Abbott is a freelance radio producer and sometimes essayist who lives with her husband and two children in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Alysia and her father, Steve Abbott, are pictured in the cover photograph from his book of poems Stretching the Agapé Bra above. You can find out more about Steve Abbott and read some of his poems HERE

 

6 Responses to "A Mother's Lament": An Essay for Mother's Day

  1. Nancy Wilsted says:

    We, too, have been there..
    I love you, Mama

  2. Marina Eckler says:

    I could listen to her all day- looking forward to reading/hearing much more from Alysia. Funny, I grew up in a coaster and doily sort of house, moved to SF, drove a crumbling VW, and now dance around the relationship between order and chaos. Love it.

  3. molly says:

    Wow. What a treat to get to hear this, Alysia. It’s great.

  4. Liz Arnold says:

    I love this – I too could listen to her all day. I was struck by how my mother’s quest for cleanliness and order affects me, and how I consciously have to work to allow some chaos in my household so that I am not overwhelmed by the constant task of picking up and putting away. I sleep better when my daughter is clean at night, but I have learned to pick my battles, and she often goes to bed dirty as I leave piles of laundry on the floor so that I can read to her and watch her drift to sleep.
    Thank you for the opportunity to take a glimpse into my own life.

  5. adam degraff says:

    Will never forget the awesome little book of Basho-like haiku and commentary Alysia’s dad Steve wrote about his trip to Japan with Alysia when he was dying. More moving for the things it didn’t say than the things it did. Still treasure it. Lovely to see her pop up here.

  6. [...] Abbott is a writer and former WNYC radio producer whose work has aired on KRCC and has appeared in a number of anthologies and publications including Time Out and Salon.com. She [...]

News

WUNC
October 31, 2014 | WUNC · North Carolina forcibly sterilized thousands of people between 1929 and 1976. The state has begun compensating victims, but some who were sterilized may never receive restitution from the fund.
 

Reuters /Landov
October 31, 2014 | NPR · After a four-day visit to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, she reports progress — along with the need for continued support.
 

Getty Images
October 31, 2014 | NPR · There’s potentially some good news about Ebola: While cases are still rising in Sierra Leone, the outbreak shows signs of slowing in Liberia. Communities are banding together to get Ebola out.
 

Arts & Life

HBO
October 31, 2014 | NPR · “I’ve made a career of playing small supporting roles,” McDormand says. And in a four-hour HBO miniseries she plays Kitteridge, a supporting character who “should be a leading lady.”
 

University of Alabama Press
October 31, 2014 | NPR · There’s nothing like a good ghost story on Halloween — and some of the best tales were told by the late storyteller and NPR commentator Kathryn Tucker Windham.
 

October 31, 2014 | NPR · “The more carny it got, the better I liked it,” King says of his new thriller, Joyland. King talks with Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross about his career writing horror, and about what scares him now.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
October 31, 2014 | NPR · In an interview with NPR’s Melissa Block, Swift addresses what’s changed since she began her career — not just for her, but for the teenaged girls that have always been her biggest supporters.
 

October 31, 2014 | NPR · The Metropolitan Opera will be celebrating New Year’s Eve with Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow in a new production starring soprano Fleming. But its greatest incarnations have been on film.
 

October 31, 2014 | NPR · Hear music for the season and spine-chilling Scottish tales, narrated by host Fiona Ritchie.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab