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

AP
June 25, 2017 | NPR · Partly to mark the end of Ramadan, the Philippine military declared a unilateral truce with ISIS-linked militants in the southern city. But not long after the peace expired, the violence resumed.
 

Colorado Public Radio
June 25, 2017 | NPR · This week more than a dozen educators in Colorado received advanced weapons training and safety.
 

AFP/Getty Images
June 25, 2017 | NPR · Some of the home-grown terrorists who have struck France in recent years were petty criminals who were radicalized in prison.
 

Arts & Life

June 25, 2017 | NPR · It’s wedding season! For this week’s Call-In, Mandy Len Catron, author of the new book How to Fall in Love with Anyone, answers your questions about love and relationships.
 

NPR
June 25, 2017 | NPR · Diksha Basu’s new novel was inspired by the explosion of wealth she saw in 1990s India. She says money is a complex thing, and it takes a while for her characters to see that.
 

June 25, 2017 | NPR · A family curse, a resurrection and a vengeful witch are at the center of Elle Cosimano’s Southern Gothic chiller The Suffering Tree. But the book elides its setting’s history of racial violence.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
June 25, 2017 | NPR · The California country-rock artist, 25, tells NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro about the personal and health struggles that have fueled her new album, Gilded.
 

Courtesy of the artist
June 24, 2017 | NPR · Burnt out after years of hard touring, the “Radioactive” band hit the brakes. Now, it’s bounced back with a new album, Evolve. Singer Dan Reynolds and guitarist Wayne Sermon tell Michel Martin more.
 

Courtesy of the artist
June 24, 2017 | NPR · On her eponymous debut album as Bedouine, folk musician Azniv Korkejian explores her itinerant, transnational upbringing and the war in Syria, where she was born.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab