The last six months here have shown big changes for me. I have met some friends and have really been enjoying my time with them. One thing that has been huge for me is a Book Club! We met a few weeks ago after reading our first book, Michelle Obama’s Becoming!!!
When I suggested this book, I made it clear that I didn’t want to get into any political conversations, and everyone agreed that they didn’t either. Of course, that was hard to do, but we did manage to keep politics to a minimum!!!
We all enjoyed the book and had some great conversations!!
Here is my take on her memoir:
1. She really is a lot like us!!! I don’t know if she would agree with that statement, but I found a great connection to her life growing up. No, I’m not black. I have no idea what it would be like to be black living in this country, but I could identify with her connection to family. She grew up in a close, hard-working family. Her parents expected good things from her and worked extremely hard to support her.
Her first line is, “I spent much of my childhood listening to the sound of striving.” I can relate to that. I grew up with parents who believed in the American Dream!! They had big dreams, and “striving” was part of their lives.
2. I love the relationship she has with her mother because I am close to my mother! Race, age, social status doesn’t matter when you have a good mother!!
She said this about her mother, “Our decisions were on us. It was our life, not hers, ad always would be.” p. 47 If that doesn’t describe the moms of the 70s then I don’t know what does. Where did moms lose that mentality??
I love this account of a conversation that she had with her mom about wanting to leave her job at a high powered law firm in Chicago:
I let out another sigh. “I’m just not fulfilled,” I said.
I see now how this must have come across to my mother, who was in the
ninth year of a job she’d taken primarily so she could help finance my college
education, after years of not having a job so that she’d be free to sew my
school clothes, cook my meals, and do laundry for my dad, who for the sake
of our family spent eight hours a day watching gauges on a boiler at the
filtration plant. My mom, who’d just driven an hour to fetch me from
the airport, who was letting me live rent-free in the upstairs of her house,
and who would have to get herself up at dawn the next morning in order
to help my disabled dad get ready for work, was hardly ready to indulge
my angst about fulfillment. p. 135
Her mother’s response: “If you’re asking me,” she said, “I say make the money first and worry about your happiness later.” p. 135
Those are words that would have come out of my mother’s mouth under those circumstances!!
3. She lost her father way too early.
“My father– Fraser Robinson III–had a heart attack and passed away that night, having given us absolutely everything.”
Wow- can I relate to that statement!!
4. Up until her time in the White House, she did all the shopping for her girls.
She shares this thought when she has almost waited too late to find the girls hats to wear when their dad announces that he will run for president.
“It wasn’t long before I became less concerned with making sure Malia and Sasha looked like the daughters of a future president than making sure they looked like they at least had a mother.”
I could go on and on sharing quotes that I loved in this book. It is well written and gives a glimpse into what she remembers about her journey. Even she admits that “…like most memories is imperfect and subjective– collected long ago like a beach pebble and slipped into the pocket of my mind.”
That is one of my favorite lines from the whole book!!
I highly recommend that you read this book. I know many conservatives who do not like her. I would hope that everyone would be open-minded enough to hear her story!!!