The Six-Word Memoir Blog

“She is a force of nurture”: Momoirs from NYT + The Six-Word Show!

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

By Larry Smith

Our ‘Six-Word MOMoirs” collaboration with The New York Times Well blog was off the hook—more than 7,000 Times readers shared their thoughts on Mom, being a mom, or that weird and wild ride called parenthood.

We’re sending Six-Word Memoir books to the winners, which the NYT’s Tara Parker-Pope announces on the Well blog. Tara sent over some wonderful lists of her favorites, a few of which I’ve listed below. They’re intense, brilliant, a blast.

We’ll also be reading the winners at our Six-Word Story Show this week on May 18 in New York City’s 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St. The show is called “I Am Turning Into My Mother,” our theme is parenthood and one’s own parents, and we an inspired line-up of storytellers. With our mix of pros like The New Yorker’s Susan Orlean, Laura Zigman, Gesine Bullock-Prado, and Joe Lockhart, as well as some folks who will be appearing on stage for the first time, you’ll know this is a SMITH Magazine show. And when you hear each one of these individuals offer a short backstory based on a Six-Word Memoir, you’re be reminded just what it is you love about the simple art of storytelling. You can still get advance tickets here.

Most popular Momoirs from NYT readers:
She gave me roots, then wings. - Meghan, New York City
Life’s great rock, love’s everflowing font – Judie, Sydney, Australia
Seven children. Each an only child – Barb, Westport, Ct.
Kids need moms. Moms need wine – Janine, Toronto
“Mom, I am gay.” Nothing changed. - Anthony, Washington, DC
Thanks for saving my birth certificate – Barack, Washingtin, DC

Several readers noted that moms often speak to us in just six words:
You are going out in that?
Let’s play the quiet game now.
Wait ‘til your father gets home.
Just put on a little lipstick.
Now put a real skirt on.
Get down here, right this minute.
Because I’m your mother, that’s why.
Hello. It’s your mother. Call me.
Put a sweater on. I’m cold.
Let me look before you flush

A number of the six-worders were about “timeless” moms:
Taught me the best swear words.
Hit her punk phase at 70.
Cursed by her love of puns.
Helped me bleach my punk hair
She is a force of nurture.

Read many more at SMITH & The New York Times’ Momoir contest on the wonderful Well blog. Thanks to everyone who shared a “mom” story in six well-chosen words.

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