Three takes on moth­er­hood

They make you think about the mean­ing of Mother’s Day

The Sudbury Star - - FRONT PAGE - BON­NIE KOGOS In the Win­dow Seat for 27 years, our Bon­nie loves this re­gion. She keeps on keep­ing on. Please find her at Bon­nieKo­[email protected]

I’m de­lighted to talk to charm­ing Dr. Carol Soloway, the au­thor of the breath­tak­ing Amazon num­ber 1 best seller, Gra­cie’s Gone, which grabs the reader on the first page and doesn’t let go.

“Every par­ent can re­late to this book,” Carol, a chi­ro­prac­tor and state-ap­pointed qual­i­fied med­i­cal ex­am­iner, told me. “We’re not sur­prised that this book has had as­tound­ing sales. Imag­ine, Bon­nie, if you’re in a store and you don’t know where your child is. You turn sud­denly. Imag­ine the ter­ror you feel?

“Gra­cie’s Gone takes the reader into the home and heart of the fam­ily, whose beau­ti­ful six-yearold daugh­ter has been ab­ducted. Dur­ing the seven days when Gra­cie’s miss­ing, the fam­ily’s ter­ror is pal­pa­ble and shock­ing fam­ily se­crets sur­face.

“What prompted you to write this?” I ask.

“I’ve of­ten been in­vited as a key­note speaker for var­i­ous char­i­ta­ble events. When my son told me about his in­volve­ment in Child Res­cue Or­ga­ni­za­tion, I sim­ply had to write this book. While it’s a short, in­tense story, I was able to dig deep in to the many is­sues of child ab­duc­tion and traf­fick­ing, and to ed­u­cate the reader through this story.”

Carol writes so beau­ti­fully you fall in love with Gra­cie’s par­ents: Af­ter one is di­vorced, and the other be­comes a widow, they find each other and their newly blended fam­ily has one goal — to love and keep their chil­dren safe.

When tragedy strikes their newly blended fam­ily, the anx­i­ety is un­real. Read­ing Gra­cie’s Gone will pull at your heart and you’ll never guess the end­ing; it’s a real twis­ter. And as a par­ent, you’ll never look at your child the same way af­ter read­ing Gra­cie’s Gone.

My friend, Mindy Tatz Ch­er­noff, is such fun, proud and suc­cess­ful with her learned horse sense. She’s a trainer, teacher and au­thor of From Muck to Mag­nif­i­cence: How Clean­ing Horse Stalls Can Lead to an As­ton­ish­ing Life. Mindy talks to me in a moth­erly tone.

“Let me count the ways that moth­ers of to­day are stressed, over­worked — of­ten un­able to stop. Horses give us he space to sim­ply be, no do, just be. In the pres­ence of horses, neu­ro­log­i­cal and phys­i­o­log­i­cal changes can oc­cur within our brains, in­tro­duc­ing a feel­ing of well-be­ing. Re­searcher from the In­sti­tute of Heart Math have doc­u­mented that horses have a large elec­tro­mag­netic field, which can ac­tu­ally in­flu­ence our own heart rhythms. A tremen­dous ben­e­fit from the gen­uine calm­ness horses ex­hibit.”

I am lulled by Mindy’s sooth­ing voice. “And, Bon­nie, horses are masters of non-preda­tory power. They are strong, but use their power in non-preda­tory ways. The judg­men­tal na­ture of horses helps us in deal­ing with many dif­fer­ent types of feel­ings and emo­tions. Be­ing around a horse al­lows us to slow down.”

“Mindy, be­ing in the city, I have three ce­ramic horses on my desk and while I look at them, they look at me.”

“Do what­ever you can, Bon­nie,” Mindy says, laugh­ing.

Here is A Whole Other Magic, a charm­ing new book, which of­fers the fresh, lyric bal­lad of a Fairy God­mother on a mis­sion to re­store child­hood won­der to a gen­er­a­tion of screen-weary kids.

I speak with au­thor Gigi Jobb, who hails from long­time Man­i­toulin residents Claire and Vi Wil­son of Gore Bay and now brings her own four chil­dren an­nu­ally to rekin­dle that same won­der at the her­itage site of her par­ents Tr­ish and Perry Wil­son on To­bacco Lake.

Gigi’s en­thu­si­as­tic: “Bon­nie, we need to viv­ify imag­i­na­tion, we want fan­tasy and won­der to live in­side our chil­dren. The prob­lem with video games rattling around in their heads is that they be­come sat­u­rated with that con­tent, that tempo; which is jerky, stilt­ing, com­pul­sive. We’re see­ing now how early child­hood screen exposure ac­tu­ally changes the shape and the wiring of our chil­dren’s brains,” Gigi says.

“As a teacher and poet, I see how rhyth­mic verse like­wise shapes and stim­u­lates — but it is for­ma­tive in a whole­some, har­mo­nious way. Re­mem­ber the power and pur­pose that nurs­ery rhymes once served? Which is largely lost, and fallen from our cul­ture? This book has been in­ten­tion­ally crafted with rhyth­mic and rhyming verse that will pen­e­trate a child’s imag­i­na­tion and en­large their ca­pac­ity for won­der­ment. It rum­bles along at the sub­con­scious level, long af­ter the read­ing is done.

“Most im­por­tantly, it be­comes fod­der for deep play and en­riches the ca­pac­ity to gen­er­ate mean­ing­ful in­te­rior mono­logues.”

The il­lus­tra­tions, too, have been a labour of love by Amer­i­can artist Alisa Day Reeves, and are crafted to de­light and in­vite. “I saw one paint­ing by Alisa Day Reeves and knew she was the one to il­lus­trate the book. I mes­saged her a ‘downon-one-knee’ pro­posal, and we be­came a team.”

Carol, Mindy and Gigi give us much to think about. How about these three au­thors and their dif­fer­ent take and ap­proach to moth­er­hood and car­ing.

Also, there’s Cel­e­brat­ing Her Story: Por­traits of Work­ing Moth­ers, which is the amaz­ing art­work of Madonna Aeschli­mann, at the De­ba­jehmu­jig Cre­ation Cen­tre in Man­i­towan­ing. Open every day this sum­mer.

I am charmed. As we keep learn­ing and loving.

Happy Mother’s Day, my beloved readers.


Au­thor Ginette Jobb, telling the story of her new book, Here is A Whole Other Magic. The book coun­ters the in­ter­net mentality with prose and po­ems.


Mindy Tatz Ch­er­noff is a trainer, teacher and au­thor of From Muck to Mag­nif­i­cence: How Clean­ing Horse Stalls Can Lead to an As­ton­ish­ing Life.

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