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

Getty Images
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Following two high-scoring games in Kansas City, Game 3 of the World Series turned into a bit more of a pitcher’s duel as the Royals prevailed in San Francisco.
 

AP
October 24, 2014 | NPR · The massive auto recall announced this week is different from most. It affects more than one-third of air bags on the road and there are no simple fixes, short of a full air bag replacement.
 

AP
October 24, 2014 | NPR · The announcement follows the positive Ebola test that came back Thursday night for Dr. Craig Spencer, who recently had returned to New York City after a stint with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea.
 

Arts & Life

October 24, 2014 | NPR · The midterm elections are less than two weeks away. Writer Michael Schaub recommends a book that explores what it’s like to run for office and live through all the dramatic ups and downs.
 

Getty Images
October 24, 2014 | NPR · In her memoir, The Woman I Wanted to Be, Diane von Furstenberg says she owes her success to her mother, a strong, strict Holocaust survivor who called Diane her “torch of freedom.”
 

Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
October 24, 2014 | NPR · NPR film critic Bob Mondello reviews Listen Up Philip and Force Majeure — two movies, he says, with compelling lead men who are impossible to empathize with.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Join host Fiona Ritchie as she showcases new music from established artists and emerging talent.
 

Redferns
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Brown was one of the pioneers of R&B. In a 1993 session, she sang to host Marian McPartland’s accompaniment in “Skylark” and “Fine And Mellow.”
 

Tinnitus Photography
October 24, 2014 | NPR · Our recurring puzzler for careful listeners, this week featuring a selection of handpicked fills from Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss. Hear the drum fill (or intro) and match it to the song.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab