You Don’t Know How Brave You Are: The Mother Letters


Yesterday was the release day of The Mother Letters, and instead of tooting our horns about it, I stayed in bed and only got up to help Titus and to barf. It was rather poignant. Seth was in a trial, and then he came home to take care of these wild, seemingly motherless children we had.

As the day went on I realized my profound addiction to coffee because I couldn’t eat or drink, and the caffeine headache made my heart clang like a cymbal in my ears, and I realized, too, that I should be more careful when taking instagram photos in the woods. I have patches of poison oak up my arms.

Such is life: the missing sock, the constant snot trickle from at least one kid at a time, the sippy-cup goo under the bed, the public ah-ha moment that you haven’t clipped your boys’ fingernails or cleaned their ears in what looks like their entire lives. But really these are the surface-level things, the day-to-day bothers and inconveniences, what whirl  us through the younger motherhood years in a flash; and, then we wake up one day, and they can blow their own noses. We suddenly look back at time and find it a blur of wishing we would have slowed down and seen those inconvenient days for what they were.



I wrote a newsletter this week (sign up here if you’d like to read it), and I asked you what is making you brave these days. I wish you could have read the responses to me. Motherhood isn’t all there is to life, but if it’s part of your life, it can be consuming. The relationships or lack of relationships we have with our own mothers can be consuming. The readers of TheRunaMuck are brave women. Some of you have unexpectedly buried someone too dear to your heart, so dear that you didn’t even know you could be a person without them. You have released your grown children into the wild without a say. You have young ones who struggle with physical or spiritual or mental illness so hard that you’re at the end of yourself, and you can’t tell a soul because your child’s story is not yours to tell, and so you feel alone. You do not feel brave at all, but you are. You are brave, and you are wise. It’s my privilege to tell you this.

The Mother Letters is not going to be the answer to all your problems, but I believe it’ll sing a little song to you, and it will be good. I love this book. It packs a punch, and I want you to have it. If you’re a book-store kind of person, please do find it at Barnes and Noble. Snap a pic of it while you’re at it. If Amazon Prime is your easy way, then head on over there. The Mother Letters page has other options for you as well.

This book began as a gift to me, and it keeps on giving, because Mother’s Day is around the corner – and so are baby showers and birthdays and the look you recognize on the faces of friends who haven’t slept or heard thank you or had anyone make them a sandwich in months.


How you can help?

We would be so grateful for your help spreading the word about this little book and would be honored for you to write your own Mother Letter on your blog and share it with us using the linkup on The Mother Letters page. Check out the posts already listed!

I love Instagram and would love to see you document your mother journey there. Sometimes a photo can say more than you’re allowed to write. Use #MotherLetters and let’s see what happens.

Finally, please do share about the book on social media. This is a group of women worth celebrating, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Thank you, always, for taking the time to visit here. Thank you for supporting us and for loving the moms in your life.

About me


Our Great Cloud of Witnesses
April 18, 2012
Mother Letters Releases Today: Share the Mess and the Glory
April 17, 2012
Mother – your art, your Letters, your photographs
March 12, 2012

1 Comment

Heather Caliri
Reply August 15, 2016

Just coming across this, Amber--I love the absolutely perfect synchronicity of your family releasing a book while someone is barfing and you're sick in bed. Isn't that always how it goes? And it says this to me: that even in our moments of crappy everyday there's the seed of new things, of the chance to nurture ourselves and the people we love and cherish our dreams for encouraging others. I hope this launch is going well.

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