Love, Mom

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Doree Shafrir and Jessica Grose, authors of Love, Mom: Poignant, Goofy, Brilliant Messages From Home, discuss the strange world of mothers' letters to their children. What's the best letter you've ever received from your mom (or dad)? Comment below!


Jessica Grose and Doree Shafrir

Comments [35]

Elisabeth from new york

When I was a college freshman in 2000, I would email back and forth with both my parents about life. After a few months we moved to weekly calls and the emails were shorter and fewer. It is nice to have a written record of that time in my life & in my parent's. Now that we're on a family cell plan, I talk more to my parents and siblings than I do to anyone else! My dad is the one that sends along emails about things he finds interesting, and we go back and forth with jokes.

Mar. 20 2009 03:21 PM
Betty from New Jersey

Hats off to the young ladies, the book is a positive read in a time of stress and negativity. My personal take -- maybe because I am raising sons. I never text long emotional messages to them. But a week never goes by when I don't tell them face to face - how much I love them and how proud they should of their accomplishments. This habit I picked up from my own Mother, long before cell phones existed.

Mar. 19 2009 11:58 AM
sumichelle from Queens

I can definitely see the "sexist" POV, but I think these roles start from when we are born. We perceive mothers to be the primary caregivers, and therefore they become that; just as we "expect" fathers to be "all-business" (a term one of the writers used in the interview). We all need to work to change these stereotypes and embrace fathers when they are nurturing, etc...

Mar. 19 2009 11:44 AM
Suki from Brooklyn

Good lord - it's not sexist - it's about MOMs! Lighten up Debbie-Downer...

Mar. 19 2009 11:32 AM
Sally Bauer Cohen from East Brunswick, N.J.

In Dec. 2001 my 21 year old Rutgers Univ. senior daughter went on her first ten day Birthright Israel trip. Needless to say, all of the parents were especially concerned about safety that year.

I set up a round-robin e-mail network among a few of us so that we could all be informed whenever any one of us had heard from our son or daughter. This saved us the anguish of waiting to receive individual e-mails or expensive telephone calls. It also fostered several electronic friendships.

The parents appreciated my creative solution. After some initial balking, our children recognized the power of this group e-mail to relieve individual pressure on them.

Would you call this over-protectiveness with a kid glove? It worked for all concerned.

Mar. 19 2009 11:31 AM
Thea Volpe-Browne from New York City

I actually wrote letters to my mom in the 60's and 70's from all my youthful travels and she saved them for me.

I now print my children's emails and save them selectively for them in a folder year by year, knowing what they'll treasure is not what I'm telling them but being able to see decades later what they were thinking in their youth.

Emails and texts evaporate. As an historian, I see this as a tremendous loss and as a mom, I'm doing something about it. My adult children don't even know I'm doing it but I am so glad to do it for them.

Mar. 19 2009 11:08 AM

if these girls want to promote their book, they should consider curbing all the giggling. this was probably one of your most inane segments, brian.

Mar. 19 2009 11:03 AM
sumichelle from Queens

My mom is not an emailer at all, but my dad is! Every single email I get from him, without fail, ends with

Mar. 19 2009 11:01 AM

a book? at best this is a blog. is the publishing world so bereft of ideas that they publish dreck like this?

my mother would be horrified if i made any of her email or letters public--proof that this level of modesty is rare to disappearing in our "overshare" world.

Mar. 19 2009 11:01 AM
Caitlin from Sunset Park

My roommate's parents follow me on twitter, and I accidentally informed them that she is moving in with her boyfriend, when I asked the internet if anyone wanted to move in with me! I didn't know she hadn't told them yet. Whoops.

Mar. 19 2009 11:00 AM

My mom passed away some years ago and one of the things I still have is the funny post it notes she would send me in my care packages. Its just so motherly. This is a great idea and good luck to you both!

Mar. 19 2009 10:58 AM
artista from greenpoint

dear Brian,
I hate to say it but your father and I think you stole this segment from the Takeaway. Do you share a producer, darling? Please gargle, I am worried for your health.

Mar. 19 2009 10:57 AM
bethann from brooklyn

Finished the prep last night for the colonoscopy. AWFUL... yuk. I go to the Dr. at 11am. Hope all is okay with me.
How are you? xoxo, m,

Mar. 19 2009 10:57 AM
Carrie from Brooklyn

My mom got on Facebook! I tried to explain to her how it worked, and she tried to upload photos of her "beautiful family." However, there were no pics of me. I really just thought of it as funny, and posted on her Wall, "oh, I think you forgot someone!"

She flipped out, spammed my Wall with outrage like, "I wasn't done yet! It took me four hours upload those three pictures! How could you say I forgot you!" Since she doesn't understand FB, she also accidentally spammed some of my friends in her rant against me. She deleted all the pics, and doesn't use FB anymore. I was humiliated.

Mar. 19 2009 10:57 AM
Jennifer from Astoria, NY

I agree with a previous poster(s) that the Valley Girl talk is annoying, and I don't understand why you are doing this segment. I also agree--strongly--that this is a very sexist segment. Dad's are annoying in their own special ways, and yet they never come up for scrutiny.

Mar. 19 2009 10:55 AM
Carey from Brooklyn

This segment does not characterize my mom at ALL. She has been emailing for much longer than I have because she has always worked for major pharma companies. Her emails and texts to me are always purpose driven and to the point.

Mar. 19 2009 10:55 AM
Valerie from LIC, QNS

I emailed a photo of myself whitewater rafting to my mother, and received this response from her (read with my mother's Russian accent):


I am impressed, you are too brave, it is not good.


Mar. 19 2009 10:55 AM
Katie from NYC

you should suggest that the girl whose father sends the texts from the woods gets on twitter so she can have a record of his comments and we can follow him... ;-)

Mar. 19 2009 10:55 AM
elizabeth from brooklyn

"We are busy sat and sun nights. Hopefully we can see you mon -thurs night. Tomorrow during the day only unless you would like to join the Jacobsen's here for dinner Sat night. Let me know... we will come to your place or the city. Susan will be home on Monday.
I have seen her 2 times since I saw you. Even saw J and A 2 times. Your the odd man out for a change.....
Miss you tons.
xoxo, mama "

Mar. 19 2009 10:54 AM
Chris from New Jersey

My Grandma just discovered e-mail. She is a very spiritual person so once a week my siblings and I receive love notes accompanied with life lessons and anecdotes concerning morality. In short, "Be good. Love, Grandma"

Mar. 19 2009 10:54 AM
austin from brooklyn

my grandmother used to call me after she sent an email just to make sure i got the email.

i politely explained to her that a follow up call defeated the purpose of the email.

Mar. 19 2009 10:53 AM
Lily from brooklyn

This is a really sexist idea. As usual moms are understood as anxious, worry-warts, with nothing better to do than bother their children, and express frustration about their husbands. It's as though moms don't have other roles in the world other than as caretakers. Dads, as the last caller, expressed, are as tech-savvy and bothersome as mothers.

Mar. 19 2009 10:53 AM
Micaela from Brooklyn

When my mom first discovered that I had pictures of us together up on Facebook, she emailed me to ask if that meant she was going to be "famous on the internet."

Mar. 19 2009 10:53 AM

I just got a message from my mom last night saying she's in American Samoa and thinking about getting a tattoo.

Mar. 19 2009 10:53 AM
Suki from Brooklyn

Also - from my boyfriend's mom:

Dear Suki,

I could not believe Adam got a ticket on his bike. How is the snow? I just saw the news about the airplane in the Hudson. always drama in NYC. I am still trying to get my Christmas tree decorations down, no motivation. How do I forward on the gmail. It is not on the gmail tool bar.


Mar. 19 2009 10:52 AM
artista from greenpoint

Bluntly put, this is a new low for your show, Brian. Or do you have more infantilization plans for us, your loyal listeners? The foolishness of this radiodrome of cheap shots is matched only by your intro.

Mar. 19 2009 10:52 AM
Anna from Brooklyn

Sorry, but I think this idea stand simply as a marketing technique. It bothers me that you are "othering" mothers as if they are not like any other person who writes emails.

Mar. 19 2009 10:52 AM
Elizabeth S. from California

Text message from mother:


Followed immediately by another message:


Followed immediately by yet another message:

I got it work. I finally texted you on the first try. Call me to tell me you got this.

Mar. 19 2009 10:52 AM

I just turned the sound off on my computer until this segment is over. This cutesy valley girl talk is cringe inducing.

Mar. 19 2009 10:51 AM
Very anonymous! from Greenpoint

Am I the only person who has been forced to add their mother to their spam filter? From the right-wing(nut) missives to the endless Powerpoint attachments of 'Love is a cute puppy' slideshows . . . oy! I just couldn't takes no more. Anything relatively important that she might send in an e-mail gets repeated when we talk on the phone every week anyway, so I'm not missing anything.

I regret that I've been unable to teach her e-etiquette the way she taught me real-world etiquette.

Mar. 19 2009 10:50 AM
Suki from Brooklyn

Text message from my mom:

Suki can u look up how many points are in a mudslide? Left my weightwatchers journal in the car! Love you!

Mar. 19 2009 10:50 AM
Elizabeth from Brooklyn

I was living abroad in September 2001. After the attack on the World Trade Center, my mother--an outspoken Liberal for whom the adjective 'patriotic' would not be the first to come to mind--sent me a long letter outlining all the tremendous international achievments of the US in the 20th Century. It was obviously resonant, as I was experiencing a certain Anti-American sentiment. It also struck a chord with my siblings, who couldn't believe my mother had sat down and written this out, and who requested photo copies for their own records.

On the other side of that coin, she once sent me a postcard with a black and white photograph of the Ghost Town Last Vegas, Nevada. The only text on the back was "When he suggests a weekend away in Las Vegas, be sure to ask 'which one?'"

Mar. 19 2009 10:49 AM
Dan from Brooklyn

Not me, but a friend in college received an email from his mom with their new address (he was unaware they were moving). it was a group email as well.

Mar. 19 2009 10:49 AM
sps from DC

Both my mother and father, when they first came across IM, would respond to me as if they were writing a whole email, complete with "love, mom" or love, dad"

I tried to explain to them that it was like a phone call except typing, but they never got around to changing the habit.

Mar. 19 2009 10:48 AM
Mark from Brooklyn

I literally have a million of these...

Hi Mark

We saw "All About My Mother" and we really liked it. Had you seen it? We haven't been going to the movies on Tuesdays because all the "snow birds" crowd the theater and cough and sneeze all over the people and we are trying not to get sick.

Dad is getting over a viral infection and still has the remnants of a cruddy cough. But, he is okay. The doctor said it would take weeks for that cough to go away.

Next Tuesday Dad is going for a routine Colonoscopy, it is his time to go and we thought it was better to have it done here.

The weather is really nice, these past few days have been hot and breezy.

Tomorrow night we are having our Condo meeting. What a pain in the ass.

Love, Mom

Mar. 19 2009 10:27 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.