This month in Literary Reflections, Amy Mercer remembers how she loved solitude as a child, and describes how she longs for it now as a mother and writer:

But now, married for almost ten years and the mother of two children, I fear I’ll never be alone again. I check email with a child on my lap. I cook dinner with a boy on the ladder next to me, making “salt and pepper make-up” (water, flour, salt and pepper) in a mixing bowl. I shower with my two year old, shampooing with one hand. I carry a boy on each hip to bed, where we read, cuddle, get more “choco” (chocolate milk), and when I tuck them in for the third time, I’m weary of others. Collapsing onto the couch with a magazine or a book, I read someone else’s story. I am alone at last for as long as I can stay awake.

Someone else’s story reminds me of my own. Alone with my children, I banish them to their playroom, so I can write. I let them play computer games for too long, so I can write. I buy them new DVD’s, so I can write. Will asks for a snack while I struggle for the right word, and Miles pulls on my arm as I type. Alone in motherhood; in the hours of laundry and cleaning and cooking and telling everybody else what to do, I am connected to the rest of the world when I write. With Play-Doh spread across the table, Will cutting and Miles eating, I write about trying to relax. As they eat dinner at the kitchen counter, I write about the McDonald’s commercials, and my struggle to keep our family healthy. While the boys take a bath, splashing water across our new tile floor, I write about my definition of home. After I read them books, I sneak out of their room, and if I’m not too tired, I write about giving birth to readers.

Read more about how Amy Mercer plays Solitaire.


  1. Ms. Creant says:

    I just had to tell you that the Natalie Angier book on your reading list is one of my top 100 favorite books ever!

  2. Violeta says:

    Thanks for the reminder that new stuff was up on Literary Mama. After reading your post, I couldn’t wait to get over there to read the full piece- and I wasn’t disappointed! : )