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It Could Happen to You by Martha Brockenbrough

February 3rd, 2005 · No Comments

I haven’t seen Martha Brockenbrough since our high school graduation. While in school we spent time together, especially running on the cross-country and track teams. I liked Martha. Many people liked Martha. She was witty and cute. She was smart. She was generous and kind. She had many talents.

So I’ve been happy to hear of her success. For years Martha has written a column for Encarta. When I heard she had written a book, I knew I had to read it.

It Could Happen to You is Martha’s diary of her time during and after her pregnancy with daughter Lucy. Like her Encarta columns it’s filled with information and also her sense of humor. The tone of her book felt a bit like a blog, personal and thoughtful, reflective and funny, chapters written in the moment. I’d recommend it as a great antidote to all the what-to-expect books. While Martha didn’t cover medical conditions, she did describe some of her own struggles, including what it was like to deliver Lucy. I also appreciated her honesty as she revealed what she thought about work and life after motherhood. This book is Martha, both the Martha I knew years ago, and a new Martha, a mom and a friend to many.

Another great feature of this book was that Adam, Martha’s husband, wrote some of the chapters. I haven’t read many pregnancy/baby books from daddy’s perspective; Adam’s pieces fit well with his wife’s, true and funny.

Some favorite quotes:

But once you are a parent, accepting other people – and the world – as they are is not always so easy. All you want is for your child to be loved by everyone and safe at all times. Two impossible goals. Too much to ask, but you do it anyway. page 108

It’s moments like this that I’m starting to realize where the best parts of life can be found. They’re the corners, the turning points. It’s like when you go outside on a sunny day and take a deep breath and realize it’s not summer air you’ve taken in. There’s a snap to it, and you realize that summer has given way to fall, and you’re suddenly overwhelmed with happiness at the change, for it symbolizes simple, new pleasures to come: cups of cider, crackling fires and cozy sweaters.

Lucy’s first smile is like this. It’s a forerunner to her first laught, the first taste of future joy. It’s like the horiaon swallowing the sun on a glorious, canatloupe-colored evening. It’s naked bliss. It overwhelms me. p 117

And what if I didn’t feel it? What if doves didn’t wheel overhead when Lucy emerged? What if angels didn’t sing, and – worst of all – what if I didn’t think she was cute? Did that mean I didn’t love her and therefore, wasn’t a proper Mom? I got a helpful piece of advice from someone who already had children. “Don’t expect to love them right away, ” she said, “It’s okay if it takes a while.” p 136

To touch life like this, to feel it bloom in front of you – this is the only kind of magic that is real. p 192

Tags: books

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