20 responses

  1. Sarah Wells
    September 18, 2014

    “We’ll understand how grace arrives only after long practice, and the falling down is really the most essential part of the glide.” Mm hmm. Love this, Brenda!


    • Brenda Miller
      September 18, 2014

      Thank you Sarah!


  2. Jesse W.
    September 18, 2014

    “My mother and I might skate side-by-side…” I so dig the subj. mood here, it’s just the perfect way to enter the end of the piece. But I want the piece to end with that licking and scrubbing — such a potent thing!


  3. Christa Williams
    September 19, 2014

    The opening is reflective of me and my daughter, who will be 6 soon. This has encouraged me to go home, dust off my bike, and ride with her, instead of walking behind. Beautifully poignant!


  4. MaryAnn Barton
    September 19, 2014

    I love the specificity of the verb “intoned” in the following passage:

    It’s a mother’s job, she says, to worry, though for years during my childhood she displayed a needlepoint on the wall that intoned: “Worry is the advance interest you pay on trouble that seldom comes.”


  5. Tim Hillegonds
    September 19, 2014

    That was fantastic. The movement was incredible–from putting on skates to putting on a show to putting us inside a photograph (and to putting on a clinic on brief nonfiction.) Thanks for that.


  6. Karen Lewis
    September 20, 2014

    I love the way roles of mother and daughter are so fluid and ageless in your prose. The way your words pull this reader along for the glide/ride.


  7. Liz Rosenberg
    September 29, 2014

    Lovely! Utterly lovely!


  8. Jeanette Squires
    October 1, 2014

    Brenda, this is so much a tribute piece to your mother, so beautiful in the way, it reminds me there are many ways to pay tribute to those we love and have loved. Thank you for the visuals, the rhythm, the loving memories invoked. Inspirational.


  9. Louise Julig
    October 13, 2014

    Lovely. I like how you blended the memory with your imagination. I too have wondered what it would be like to know my mother when she was young. She said liked to run, something I never once saw her do as an adult.


  10. Tarn Wilson
    October 17, 2014

    I’m going to share this with my student!


  11. Jenny Cutler Lopez
    November 5, 2014

    I read this essay aloud and when I got to: “My mother and I might skate side-by-side, holding hands like sisters or best friends…” my voice stuck in my throat. This is a beautiful piece about aging and mothers and children. Wonderful!


  12. Liz Bahs
    November 14, 2014

    Beautifully written, the language and tone is so deeply poignant. Thank you.



  13. Monica Guzman
    November 16, 2014

    Mothers, daughters, we just are who we are. I love the detail about licking and scrubbing at the end. About waiting patiently for mom to be mom, then join us back in the world again.


  14. Brenda Miller
    November 20, 2014

    Thank you everyone, for your kind and astute comments on this essay.


  15. Chad Erik Lawson
    November 20, 2014

    ” … she pulls them apart and says, you’ve got it wrong.”

    That’s when I knew you got it. Right.



  16. Jacqueline Doyle
    November 21, 2014

    “We’ll understand how grace arrives only after long practice.” Love the slow circling, the grace of this essay! Beautiful video version too.


  17. Hope
    November 24, 2014

    Teaching my daughter to skate, I told her how important that first fall is because that’s when you learn that you get can back up. Once you lose the fear to fall, you can really fly. I love the way you capture the wisdom encapsulated in such a simple thing as skating! Time cycling around and around. Beautiful!


  18. Suzanne Brazil
    November 25, 2014

    Evoked a special memory with me and just emailed this to my mom who turned 70 this year. As a single mom of five kids, we didn’t have a lot growing up but she’d scrape together enough cash to take us to the roller rink. I remember the first time being maybe 4 or 5 and I had to wear the training skates which resembled keds tennis shoes with plastic wheels. The Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar” played from the loud speakers and mom was such a good skater, the rink guard always asked her to skate with him. I’m hell on wheels myself and just loved this trip down memory lane and another reason to call my mom. Beautiful.


  19. Suzanne Brazil
    December 1, 2014

    Don’t want to overdo it in the comments but I emailed your essay to my mom and just received her reply:

    “I cried when I read this, so grateful that we had this moment to share in

    Thank you again.


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