Summary of “The Day I Realized I Could Never Make My Mom Grow Up”

The story reports that my mother had been arrested the previous day for firing a gun while intoxicated at 7:30 in the morning.
I’d been able to maintain some distance from my mother’s issues, knowing that Russ would keep them from getting too bad. But after the stroke, it was all on me.
Growing up with my mother meant always waiting for the next mistake that would throw our lives into chaos.
About two months after Russ’ stroke, I called my mother late one night.
Now I feel the irony of the child catching my mother in some inappropriate act and wondering how to handle it, but at the time all I knew was that no matter what progress she seemed to have made, she was never going to be responsible.
I raged about how we were scarred from having a drunk mother who lost our house and forgot to pick us up from school when she passed out in the yard.
I wanted to never speak to my mother again, to make her be the adult for once, but I knew even as I left that I couldn’t leave for good.
Ever since Russ died a year later, I’ve kept trying to help my mother, but I have been burned by her drinking and lies and have tried not to expect too much from her.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Hello, Forgetfulness; Hello, Mother”

What had eased enough for her to proceed? My father said he didn’t know what allowed him to hustle my mother into the car, but he wasn’t going to count on these sudden and unpredictable openings anymore.
For five years I’d make a flight reservation from Michigan, where I lived, and the day or two before my departure my father would call and say Your mother doesn’t want to see you.
A few weeks before she died, my sisters, in conjunction with my father, told me I had to come regardless of whether my mother would want it or not.
To my knowledge my mother never confided in anyone else what her fears might be.
At the time my sisters and I wondered, or I should say worried, whether what had happened to our mother would happen to us.
Inside, invisibly, change is happening, and I don’t know if it is what my mother felt, but I’m not denying its existence, I’m not pretending to be something I’m not.
Did my mother feel as if she were floating underwater or if not fully underwater, as if she were floating on the skin of water and the water was lapping up to cover her ears? At night lying in bed undergoing the adjustment of still hearing my own head too loudly and waiting for the rain sounds to soothe me, I realize how anxious I am, how encased I am now in my own world of sound, and more removed from my husband lying right next to me.
Though my mother has been dead for a long time, I’ve never felt closer to her than I do now.

The orginal article.

Summary of “”The World According To Fannie Davis” Is BuzzFeed Book Club’s October Pick”

I’ve already learned that the best time to tell Mama difficult news, something that could get you in trouble, is during that brief, expectant pause in the day.
Mama throws on her soft blue leather coat, the color of the Periwinkle crayon in my Crayola box, and together we slide into her new Buick Riviera; are we headed back to school to confront Miss Miller? Thank God no, as Mama heads south, away from Winterhalter Elementary; she soon turns onto Second Avenue, drives to the corner of Lothrop, and parks in front of the New Center building.
Mama takes my hand and leads me to the children’s shoe department, where an array of options spreads before us.
We lived well thanks to Mama and her Numbers, which inured us from judgment.
After Mama died in 1992, my sister Rita briefly took over running the business; but she eventually closed it down and our family’s life in Numbers ended, and with it, the threat of exposure disappeared.
To maintain our comfort, Mama fought steadily against the threats of fierce competition and wipeouts, but also against exposure and police busts-and thanks to the cash business she was in, armed robberies and break-ins.
Yes, Mama could get busted, but I didn’t process what that meant: that our good life would end.
Scariest of all is this: the only way for me to tell Mama’s story is to defy her, by running my mouth.

The orginal article.

Summary of “His Biggest Hit Sold More Copies Than Any of the Beatles’. So Why Haven’t You Heard of Him?”

On June 24, 1997, Prince Nico Mbarga was pronounced dead. “Sweet Mother,” his 1976 one-hit wonder, had sold at least thirteen million copies across the African continent – more than The Beatles’ bestseller “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” But no global media outlet thought to cover the life and death of the artist behind Africa’s most popular song.
Over the last few months, I have tried to piece together a more textured story: traveling to Mbarga’s hometown to talk to his childhood friend, his wife and his mistress; tracking down his former band members from Cameroon to France to the US; prodding the memory of his octogenarian producer; and reading rare transcripts of his interviews.
Nico Mbarga’s best friend Ojong and Mbarga’s widow, Esame, right.
Odion Iruoje, then a producer at EMI, recalls working with a 23-year-old Mbarga “Who knew what he wanted,” very able at “Directing his boys.” By all accounts the non-smoking, non-drinking Mbarga, who studied law on the side in Onitsha, was a man of real self-possession.
Mbarga sent a tape to Odion Iruoje at EMI, who remembers hearing the song for the first time and knowing that “It was the magic.” On the agreed date for recording Odion had to fly to London to record at Abbey Road, and some other EMI officials told Mbarga that the song was “Too childish” for them to record.
For six months Mbarga – now calling himself Prince Nico Mbarga – Rocafil and Rogers All Stars worked on “Sweet Mother,” rehearsing daily from seven in the morning until one in the afternoon.
It was, says Rocafil rhythm guitarist, Cameroonian Jean Duclair, “Real every day work,” as they made change after change, turning it from a gentle “Cha cha cha” to a more upbeat highlife sound, adding little dance breaks, and crafting a song marked more and more by the drive of Mbarga’s Congolese-style finger-picking lead guitar.
It’s a golden Mbarga in his platform shoes, standing his guitar on a plinth, looking out over the traffic of “Mbarga Junction.” Nearby, shaded by Ikom’s many red-blossomed African tulip trees, is Sweet Mother Road. And if it is sad in a sense – Lucy cried the day the statue was put up, as if it were final confirmation of his death – it does at least constitute a well-earned recognition for Mbarga at last.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Searching for the Nazi Who Saved My Mother’s Life”

Alicja and Mietek had assimilated with my mother into a middle-class Melbourne neighborhood – far from the Jewish suburbs of pickled herring and yarmulkes – where straw-haired, freckled Aussie children slathered black, bitter Vegemite onto thin white sandwich bread and people were welcoming, but not overly curious at the green numbers tattooed on Alicja’s wrist.
Seven months earlier, Dick paid a Catholic woman to bring Joasia to Alicja.
The day the Polish police arrived, Alicja ran from the house screaming onto the street, begging the police to shoot her instead of handing her over to the Nazis.
Now Alicja hoped that the only thing left of her family would help Joasia.
The Nazi drove to the town where Alicja was arrested, found Joasia and took her to a convent.
Later, during an interrogation the Nazi informed Alicja of where he’d taken Joasia.
Removing the prison files from my plastic archive bag, I repeated the ‘good Nazi’ spiel and pointed to Alicja’s prisoner number at the top of a page, hopeful he could match it to an officer.
The Nazi had been in a position of absolute power, wheras Alicja stared death in the eye, and instead of using the jewels to save herself, she gifted life to another woman’s child.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Towards Chinatown”

Two days after I learn that my mother has cancer, after my sister tearfully tells me over the phone, “This might be mom’s last Christmas,” I go to San Francisco Chinatown.
At home, my mother sings Cantonese songs from her childhood to me.
In Chinatown, my mother got her hair cut by a woman called Pony.
In the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake and fire, Chinatown merchants hired white architects to rebuild their buildings with pagodas, dragon motifs, and eaves curling skyward, a stage-set Chinatown to attract tourists and to protect the neighborhood against city leaders who had planned to seize its land.
I don’t know that in a Chinatown alley stands a modest building with my mother’s family name on it, home to our family association.
Am I imagining the yearning of my mother, left behind by her parents as a child as they headed towards America one by one? She was raised by a grandmother in a one-room apartment shared with an uncle who smoked indoors.
What do you pack when your mother has cancer and you don’t know how long you’ll stay? An acquaintance suggests sweats, but I only pack one pair.
I’m surprised – at how I mourn the loss of my mother tongue, but my mother does not.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Happens to Your Body After Giving Birth?”

Watch: What they won’t tell you about being a new mom.
“You have Instagram, you have Facebook, you have this idealized version” getting publicized and shared on social media, Karp says.
“I bet if you searched a million images of new babies and new mothers, you’d get only one image that focuses on swollen ankles.” Which can lead, he says, to unrealistic expectations and discomfort with sharing the less adorable realities of new parenthood.
Mayer credits social media with having the opposite effect.
As the Millennial generation, known for its propensity to post status updates and frequent broadcasts to social media, has grown up, all facets and stages of people’s lives have become fodder for sharing, including new motherhood.
“They can share anything they want to share, and that’s really powerful.” And perhaps, she adds, the same culture of radical public honesty about the unglamorous, unpleasant aspects of new motherhood has given rise to the graphic, unfiltered mothering humor that Wong, Teigen, and Schumer have helped popularize.
New motherhood and its medical challenges have come into the public spotlight in other ways, too, Mayer notes.
A few notable books aimed at enlightening new mothers on how to care for their own bodies after birth have been released in the past couple of years-such as 2016’s The First Forty Days and 2017’s The Fourth Trimester.

The orginal article.

Summary of “It’s time to get rid of the lottery”

The predation of the lottery on the financially insecure leads to what Blalock calls the desperation hypothesis: those in the direst of financial circumstances turn to the lottery as “a hail-mary strategy.” It is a source of hope for those in despair, for those who dream of escaping their social class.
75 percent of lottery players believe that they will win and 71 percent of players said that if they did win, they would use the money to pay off their debt.
The Cornell study also found that people who made less than $30,000 a year were more likely to play the lottery for money, meaning that poor lottery players play as a legitimate strategy for financial stability.
A 2019 survey conducted by a customer intelligence firm Vision Critical found that 75 percent of lottery players believe that they will win and 71 percent of players said that if they did win, they would use the money to pay off their debt.
Lottery players budget to account for lottery tickets in the hope that this investment will offer a reward in the form of savings or debt relief.
The ability to choose how the game of the lottery is played – manually selected or computer generated – is a way to deceive the player into believing that they have some agency in their success.
Ideally, this legislation would allow for the state’s wealthiest residents and corporations to provide the revenue generated by the state lottery and thus provide the state an opportunity to sever its reliance on the poor to purchase lottery tickets.
The predation of the lottery is not on the mind of most politicians, particularly because the lottery is a game that individuals opt into playing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Redemption of the Secret Love Child”

Many years ago, Laurie’s mom was devastated to learn that her husband and father of her three children had been having an affair with his 22-year old secretary.
Everyone in my family – my older sister, my younger brother, my adopted father, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and even family friends – knew years before I did.
My husband, Craig, offered to be both detective and mediator, shielding me from whatever reaction my father might have.
I’d spent my whole life hidden from my father and his family.
“My father’s relationship with your mother didn’t mean anything to him,” he said, matter-of-factly, when we finally met face-to-face at a family gathering at his house.
What productive purpose could that declaration possibly serve? Was the affair easier for him to stomach if he framed it as meaningless? Was he making sure I knew that my mom was a slut and his dad was just doing what boys do? It sounded to me like he was throwing my mother under the bus so he could maintain a sanitized view of his father.
I’m the embodiment of something my mother and father desperately tried to hide and distance themselves from.
Every close family member associated with my father knows I exist, with the exception of Laurie’s mother, who is 87 and in bad health.

The orginal article.

Summary of “There really is no natural or right way to be a parent”

We should parent like that again, or our children will grow up wrong.
This idyllic picture, some believe, is our heritage, the way we evolved to parent before culture, technology and agriculture changed everything forever.
Is parenting really programmed by nature as a one-size-fits-all process for us humans, just like the apes? Or is it – like families, partnering and love – part of culture, a matter of environment, circumstance, and as variable as society itself?
Blaffer Hrdy claims that, while humans share more than 95 per cent of their genes with chimps, we parent more like other cooperatively breeding monkeys such as baboons, marmosets, tamarinds or bonobos.
We can only know how we parent now – as individuals bound to a certain time, place and culture.
Natural parenting has more to do with how we want to be than with how we actually are.
If there’s no ‘natural’ parenting, if parental love is conditional, and if modern hunter-gatherers aren’t perfect parents after all, don’t we have to question not just the idea of attachment parenting, but attachment theory itself?
By measuring the way that parents raised their children and then comparing this to an ideal, Ainsworth and Bowlby used moralistic terms such as ‘competence’ and ‘responsiveness’, thereby judging parents who diverged from the norm, which – not so coincidentally – aligned with the way that Western parents raised their kids.

The orginal article.