Monday, December 01, 2008

Mom to Mom: Ginger Carlson

(Photo: Amanda Smith)

I feel so fortunate to have crossed paths with Ginger Carlson. She generously allowed me to host a giveaway of her wonderful, wonder-full book, Child of Wonder back in April. I wanted to share her with you immediately, I really did, but my "Mom to Mom" slots were booked for the entire year (How can that be?). Ginger has been such an enormous source of inspiration to me. I've been savoring every morsel of her book and newsletters...and feeling very selfish for being so quiet. It is with great joy that I introduce you to Ginger...

Mom: Ginger Carlson
Of: Zeal (8 yo) and a new baby due within the next few weeks!
Where: Oregon
Site: Ginger Carlson
Blog: The Wondershop and Thinking Outside the Recipe

1. In what ways has becoming a mother changed you?

Wow. In what ways does becoming a mother not change you? Before we first moved to India, I read that you could measure your life in two ways: before you saw the Taj Mahal and after you saw the Taj Mahal. But my life can really be measured by before and after becoming a mother. In many ways, I can’t really grasp that time before becoming a mother because (even though it was only eight years ago) it seems so far away from who I am now. But I think becoming a mother just puts you in deeper touch with the essence of our humanness so you look at the world more acutely, much the way our children do.

2. What is one tip you would like to share about mothering?

Let them get messy! I’m a big advocate of the power of a good mess and believe it is a cornerstone for a child learning so many things, not the least of which being how to connect in with their own creative expression.

3. As mother, author, speaker, how do you juggle these roles?

Very deliberately, I like to think, but perhaps I happen along time to work on writing, etc. I tend to do most of my writing in my head, often for months, before ever sitting down at a computer to let it spill out. Also, often I do carve out time to “work” by getting up super early so I can get things done before Zeal wakes. But, we also work along side each other much of the time. I think it is especially important for children to see their parents engaged in whatever fulfills them, so I make an effort to work on my myriad of projects in his presence and involve him if it is appropriate.

4. In what way/s did your own childhood influence the way you parent your son?

We are all products of our past. From cooking to outdoor exploration to game playing, I definitely can see the visible traces of my own past/childhood in my daily interactions and parenting choices. I wrote about my own childhood and its influence on me a bit in the introduction to Child of Wonder. It is for certain that each member of my family has left their fingerprint on my own personal creativity and my approach to life and parenting.

5. What inspired you to write Child of Wonder?

Well, originally, the idea began while I was teaching in an inner-city school in Los Angeles, and then continued to grow and take shape when I was teaching overseas in international and embassy schools. It seemed rather glaring to me that creativity and nurturing self-expression was such a universal need, no matter what the circumstance or background. I began to write about creativity for magazines, which led to a regular column on the topic. But then Zeal was certainly the catalyst for me putting it all down in the form you see now as Child of Wonder.

6. Lastly, what grounds you, moves you, fills your well?

His name is Raphael: the father of my children and partner in all I do. He keeps me grounded, alert, supported, questioning, and connected to my own creativity. I’m also a very dedicated student of Bikram yoga. I practice the hatha series about five early mornings a week (yes, even through the pregnancy, with some modifications, of course). Additionally, I am blessed with a richly diverse circle of women in my life. Other things that fill me up include travel (especially international travel), walks in the rain, night air, early mornings, working in the kitchen with Zeal, and lately I’ve been doing a LOT of sewing.

*Most Alive Monday will resume next week.


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posted by Wendy at 5:11 AM


Blogger Green Mamma said...

Ooh, another great read that I'll have to pick up. I love these profiles on moms who write books. Thanks for sharing them here Wendy. =)

5:20 AM  

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