In Mom, I’m Not a Kid Anymore, Sue Sanders takes a virtual dive into the community of reading parents, outing the universal issues that face them and their tweens. Sanders writes with the belief that when parents are willing to connect with one another—sharing their triumphs and struggles in raising kids on the brink of adulthood—other parents can be helped and inspired. Though Sanders herself did not have a built-in community of local parenting friends (due to a cross-country move around the time her daughter was in junior high), Mom, I’m Not a Kid Anymore makes up for missed, real life conversations with her fourteen-year-old daughter, Lizzie. Sanders writes, “I like to think that reading these tales is a bit like the advice you get from a friend over coffee: perhaps you agree on some aspects of parenting, maybe you disagree on others, but it’s still good to hear from someone who is going through something similar.”
While the subtitle, Navigating 25 Inevitable Conversations that Arrive Before You Know It, suggests a how-to genre, Mom, I’m Not a Kid Anymore is truly memoir—twenty-five essays surrounding a unique conversation or experience with Lizzie in the context of a re-fashioned family (Lizzie’s biological father is not altogether present, but Sanders’ second husband, Jeff, helps with the parenting). With humor, sobriety, and grace, Sanders takes the reader into the dynamics of family life as well as aspects of her own childhood—she was raised by conservative parents in a small town where prejudice and ignorance abounded—gleaning the mores and lessons she does and does not want to pass on to her daughter.
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