Book Report

image by swiss miss via port2port press

My greatest hope as a mother is to see my girls grow into confident, creative and perhaps even unusual (are you reading this Karey?) women.

My mother and I were watching Juno a few of weeks ago, when she asked what I would do if Audrey or Millie turned out like the title character as teenagers. My swift response was that I would be thrilled (minus, of course the unwanted teenage pregnancy.) I was pretty smitten with the Juno character -- loved her humor and her confidence and well, her general "unusualness." (Honestly my biggest fear is that the girls might turn out like Juno's overly boy crazy, cheerleader best friend -- nothing against cheerleaders of course.)

My mom ultimately agreed...she's good like that.

This desire (longing really) to raise creative daughters is partially what drew me to read the Eleanor Coppola book... I was pretty darn interested in perusing the "notes on a life" of the woman who is at least partially responsible for how Sofia Coppola turned out...I'm awfully enamored of Sofia, what with her creativity and confidence (her ability to look insanely cute in the frumpiest of frocks) and yes, her tendency to sometimes seem unusual -- in the best possible way.

Sofia Coppola via House and Garden

And while there were certainly some good tidbits on fostering a creativity-inducing environment for your family, a wholly unexpected side-effect of reading the book is how it now has me thinking of my own mother's life non-stop. Her experiences in many ways parallel those of Eleanor Coppola's in that she spent countless years striving to create normalcy for me and my sisters amidst a wholly unconventional childhood (and often in the process put her own dreams and desires on hold...)

Ultimately, she taught me an awful lot more about raising slightly unusual children than any memoir could (although it was fun to read those behind the scenes accounts on-set during Lost in Translation.) And for that I am awed and grateful.


Unknown said...

I have three unusual children.
Not easy,never boring, pretty interesting!!!!

karey m. said...

i cried like a baby when i saw juno. uncle sugar, too.

because we both were wishing our girlies would turn out like that. not pregnant. just principled. witty. unusual.

yeah. unusual is good.

as are you. and yours. fer sure.

would love to hear more about your mom and dad and sister...yes? no? whatever. we'll take more o' a and m.

Cupcakes and Cashmere said...

This post was unbelievably moving. Though I'm not a mother like the other commenters and yourself, I still can draw the parallels between my own mother and myself. It's so sweet to hear how much you admire your own mother and I'm sure that love and acceptance will make a huge difference in your daughters' lives.

mary s. said...

Oh, I can't wait to read this book!

And like Emily, above, I'm not a mom yet. But I absorb mom-type books (and posts - like yours and Karey's) like a sponge. Partly because I'm in love with my own mom, and partly because I can't wait to be one myself.

Heather Taylor said...

wow! this is so lovely and inspiration. and i love that picture of sophia.

Jane said...

You had better lock up Audrey now Jos...What did we hear all through Seaside? "I Love Matthew and he's going to be my husband." But then again, I'm thinking he's a pretty good catch!

Anonymous said...

My greatest fear used to be that very same thing! What if I end up with a daughter whose favorite color is pink and who wants to be head cheerleader?!?!?!

Fortunately for me, my 13 year old is pretty cool, plays goalie for her soccer team, loves bright colors AND black, and revels in the thrill of a bargain at the Good Will.

Keeping my fingers crossed for the rest of her teen years and for all of you with young ones.

Joanna Goddard said...

so interesting, thank you!

Mrs.French said...

I hope B is just a little bit odd, so much more interesting than like-everybody-else. I think the most important thing is that he is comfortable being that way. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love this post sooo much! I was always the daughter who was a bit odd, and I didn't mind. It is a great quality :)
Hope to see you soon!

Our Green Nest said...

I completely agree about Juno - what an interesting creative girl who's not afraid to be herself...I hope my little one is like that when she is older! Not afraid to be different!

Also *heart* Sofia - LOVED "Virgin Suicides"..

Jessie Cacciola said...

LOVE sofia. and Lost in Translation is one of my favorite movies. :)
- Jessie -

Suzanne : : S.HOPtalk said...

What a lovely, eloquent post. I agree wholeheartedly...the unusual ones are the keepers. I love that my seven year old daughter loves to scour garage sales, collects vintage Peter Pan books (her favorite story), and was the only June Carter in a sea of Hannah Montana's at "dress up as your favorite rock star" day at school. :)

Joslyn said...

oh shoptalk...i LOVE that your daughter dressed up like June Carter!!!! brilliant.