Tuesday, May 8, 6:30 p.m.
Vermont author Kimberly Harrington will read from, discuss and sign her new book, Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words, a humorous and honest exploration of the highs and lows of being a parent (or just being human) in a world marked by contradictions, pressures, hypocrisy, social media, and loveable, if loud, children.
Essay titles like “Kids, It’s Time You Knew the Truth. Your Mother is a Real Piece of Work,” “Your Participation Trophies are Bullshit,” “Fifty-One Things You Should Never Say to a Mother Ever,” and “If You Love Your Grandparents, Go Visit Them,” Harrington gets to the heart of the daily dilemma that is parenthood. “Do I have to be dying to tell you I did my damnedest to figure this thing out, this being-a-mother thing, this being-a-parent thing, this working thing, this being-human thing?” Harrington writes in the open letter to her kids, “I Don’t Want to be Dying in Order to Tell You These Things.” “I’ve tried to be better but have oftentimes only been worse. I’ve expected more of you than I certainly expect of myself, to be kind, to not gossip, to be inclusive, to not swear or fight. I love fighting.” As she navigates the imperfect voyage of motherhood, Harrington is ever open about the envy parents feel, the mistakes they make, the everyday terror they hide. “You will be disappointed to learn that parents, and adults in general, do not have all the answers,” she confesses to her children. “That for every inconsistency and misstep, unpaid allowance and cancelled vacation, we prove ourselves to be the amateurs we’ve always known ourselves to be. We are as uncertain as you are, but we can’t let you know that.”
Kimberly Harrington is a regular contributor to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the co-founder and editor of parenting humor site RAZED, and a copywriter and creative director. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and on Medium. She lives in Vermont on purpose.