The motherrunner, the "Why me?" gang and another alarming study

Readers respond to articles about a mother who's an ultrarunner, why nobody gets a free pass, and research about children of working moms.


Salon Staff
August 9, 2002 11:00PM (UTC)

[Read "Motherrunner."]

Thank you for such a lovely piece on running as metaphor for motherhood (and vice versa). As a runner and mother, I enjoyed reading Kelly's running and mothering exploits. I also run in Brooklyn and would bet that we've passed each other in Prospect Park at 5:45 a.m. and nodded hello. (I was the very extremely pregnant runner in the park eight months ago.)

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-- Grace Parisi

This essay really struck a chord with me. (I'm not a motherrunner but I'm a motherdissertationwriter, which is pretty close.) Please, please, let's hear more from Eileen Kelly!

-- Katie Skeen

[Read "Why Me?"]

While reading "Why Me?" by Dan Shapiro, I recalled that many years ago I read a book about speeding, radar, etc., written by a former state trooper. It was written in a question and answer format, and I remember that one of the questions was, "Why was I pulled over and not the other guy?" The trooper's sage reply, which has provided me with the same sort of spiritual comfort as reading Shapiro's article, was: "Nine times out of ten, you were the other guy."

-- Mitchell Hellman

It is the glory of American culture to regard misfortune as an accidental, not essential, attribute of human existence, and this belief has been productive of much good in our culture. We do lack a tragic sense of life, but like many other goods it has the vice of its virtue. Literally, never to say die, to not go gentle into that good night, can occasionally produce some absurd extremes. I'll take that over the peace of mind that leaves the world unimproved. Much of Indian philosophy is an extended preparation in pessimism.

-- Richard D. Henkus

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What an excellent article by Dan Shapiro describing how some people fail to cope with adverse medical diagnoses. It mirrors how I have learned to deal with my diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. M.S. is part of me in the same way that my forebears' history is part of me. It is foolish and painful to kick against such reality -- better to live the life that I find myself in.

-- Paul Jones

Remind me not to go to Dan Shapiro if I ever need any psychological help.

-- Fritz Strohmeyer

[Read "Where's Poppa?"]

How can you study a child's development while ignoring one parent's contribution? I am one of a growing number of single fathers who are convinced that their children are better off without their mothers' input. In this situation you see that children have certain needs, like love or affection. These needs can be met by either parent, not just the mother. I am sick and tired of the assumption that children need a parent with a bosom more than they need a parent who genuinely cares.

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-- Randall Pullen

This is journalism at a high point. The writer had studied the study enough to ask pertinent questions beyond the usual edifying Q&A. The issue of childcare is important to millions, of course. This Salon feature shows some of the facts behind sensationalist headlines and summary articles. [It] approached the researchers in a way that drew out information and also asked about what was not in the study's conclusions, while respecting the work involved.

-- Patricia Jacobs Timmons

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