I'd like to send a big fat thank you to my friend Anne for recently recommending a book to me. Hopefully you read that thank you with lots of sarcasm. Anne never told me it would make me cry. Let me back up and tell you that I probably only wear makeup one day a week. It's not a specific day of the week, it's usually just whichever day of the week I am going to be seen by the greatest number of people. I'm lazy and not very good at applying makeup, but as I get older, my nose keeps getting redder and redder which is making me look like I've hit the bottle a bit too much over the years. This is ironic, as I drink alcohol even less frequently than I wear makeup. So one or two days a week I slap on some foundation, mascara, and lipstick before heading out the door. Back to Anne. At a St. Patrick's Day party this year, she mentioned a picture book, Mars Needs Moms!, she had read by Berkeley Breathed. You remember him from Bloom County and Opus. Anne described it as not necessarily a book for new moms but for the one who's been at it awhile and realizes that her relationship with her child might not be perfect but that's okay. She failed to mention that if I picked it up from my library, had it in the car and happened to read it in the fifteen minutes that I arrived early to volunteer in my son's classroom (on my weekly cosmetics day) that I would go into the classroom looking like a raccoon with a WC Fields nose. Like I said, thanks a lot!
Sarcasm aside, Mars Needs Moms! is a great picture book. It is very different in style and story than anything I've read in awhile. Young Milo doesn't see what's so special about moms. They force a kid to do chores and eat healthy foods, and they have lame senses of humor. Milo gets himself in trouble, is sent to his room, and dreams about Martians who come to Earth because they need moms. Martians , you see, are born motherless out of the ground, but, "They needed driving to soccer! And to ballet! And to playdates, parks, and pizza! Plus cooking and cleaning and dressing and packing lunches and bandaging boo boos!" Some Martians kidnap Milo's mom which is when the story gets really good in my opinion. It's about love and sacrifice and imperfectly wonderful relationships. I guess I should thank Anne with less sarcasm because I'm so glad I read it!