Monday, March 07, 2011

MNT Dreams in Families

Have you ever wondered what it is that motivates some people to do what others would consider impossible? We all have dreams right? Some people though, they have a drive that amazes me. Like the main character Jack Rosenblum in  Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English, by Natasha Solomons.

From Publishers Weekly:
Screenwriter Solomons's debut novel is the pleasant, ripped-from-the-family-archives story of German exile Jack Rosenblum and his unlikely postwar quest to build a golf course in the Dorset countryside. Fresh off the boat and with a Helpful Information and Friendly Guidance for Every Refugee pamphlet in hand, Jack dives passionately into assimilation, starting a booming carpet business, buying his suits at Henry Poole and his hats at Lock of St. James, and avoiding his native tongue at all costs. And while he can afford golf clubs at Harrod's, he can't check off the last item on his list: join a golf club. On impulse, he buys a damp acreage and embarks on the final leg of his assimilation. Meanwhile, his wife, Sadie, obsesses over the past, churning out Baumtortes and other confections. It's undeniably winsome, and while the pace is lackadaisical at best, the details of postwar Britain are nicely observed, and the narrative offers a sweet perspective on some very heavily traveled turf. (June)

I've always wanted to excel at what I do. I like being good at things. I like exceeding others expectations. I'm definitely one of those people that gets motivated by someone telling me I can't do something.

I know when it came to having a family I wasn't going to let a little infertility stand in my way. I also know with Noah I'm not going to let the alphabet soup of RAD and ADHD and BPD and PDD stand in my way of doing every damn thing possible to help him. Like Jack Rosenblum I'm going to have my "golf course," were of course golf course = healthy family.

That is one of the things that makes parenting so difficult for me, because I know I'm not always the best mom I could be. There are a hell of a lot of times I think I really suck at this gig. Other times I know I'm doing OK.

I may not have the drive to build empires, or even golf courses, but I do have the drive to work as hard as I can to be the best mother I can be. Fuck RAD and mood disorders and ADHD and people that don't understand, I'm going to kick their ass and build my own little empire of four (or should I say fore?). I started this weekend at the 2nd Annual Early Trauma and Attachment Annual Meeting, which I'll write more about soon.

This post was inspired by Mr. Rosenblum Dreams In English, the March pick for the "From Left to Write" Book Club. A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers. I am not being compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

I loved the book by the way! Highly recommend!



  1. Thanks so much for your post -- so glad that you enjoyed the book. And, I think Jack needs his golf course to help him understand the importance of family...

  2. As a chronically ill mom with a child with some emotional/neurological difficulties, I never thought about it in this way, but raising my family and giving my son the best life I possibly can is my golf course too.

    Excellent way of looking at this book!

  3. Found you via the Trauma Moms map. We live in the same state. I would love to connect - i don't know anyone who's gone through similar stuff (our kids have most of the same diagnoses! My 10 y/o foster son doesn't have RAD but definitely has attachment issues, PTSD, anxiety, ODD, depression, pretty major ADHD and very likely bipolar disorder. He is on antipsychotics, Adderall, and more. Our 2 y/o has seizures and is verbally delayed and hates to sleep. My partner and I both deal with chronic illness of our own. No mom I know is being the best mom they can be, but we're all doing the best we can, and for those of us who are conscientious and caring and try to continually educate ourselves about ways to help our kids reach their potential, our not-quite-best is still likely more than enough for the little people we are raising.

  4. Oh and I forgot that we are pretty darn sure he has a sensory processing disorder, but it has yet to be diagnosed :)