I have a confession to make.
I am a magazine addict.
I like them all. The glossy covers. Words just waiting to be read. Ads beckoning me to buy something I never knew I wanted. I'm not picky, either. While I could spend hours in the bookstore and never leave the periodicals section, I'm just as happy in a crappy waiting room with a mangled copy of Car and Driver. It drives Mike batty. Picture it for yourself: we finally have a moment to ourselves, precious time to reconnect after a crazy day. We're snuggled together, chatting away, when I spy it. A magazine I haven't read. It calls out to me, and the next thing I know his voice is like the teacher from Charlie Brown.
So it might come as some surprise to you that I have two categories of magazines: ones that I will read (that would be virtually anything) and ones that can barely make it from the mailbox into the house without being devoured cover to cover. Actually, there's only one magazine that makes it into that category for me, and that's the one right there at the top of this post.
I discovered Brain, Child by accident when Elena was still a toddler. I was in the check-out at Wild Oats in Nashville when I spotted it. One of the by-products of my addiction is that I can rarely leave a check-out with a magazine. I was already immersed in all publications of the parenting sort, but I'd never seen this one. It came home with me and I've been hooked ever since.
I love it for all the things it is: smart, funny, insightful, honest, brave, heart-breaking, different. I love it for all the things it isn't: preachy, condescending, fluffy, sugar-coated. I initially thought I would post a review of an article from the latest issue that I found particularly good. Problem was, I couldn't single any one out over another. The term article doesn't even really apply – each issue is filled with essays, fiction, debates, reviews, along with a feature article (this issue's feature was on "Eco-Housewives: Enlightened Caregiver or Feminist Nightmare?" It rocked.). There's nary an article about "Get Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night Tonight!" or "Lose That Baby Weight For Good!" It's more like hearing a girlfriend tell you like it is. Or hearing her tell it like it was for her, so you can think, "Cripes, I never thought of it that way!" For those of us who spend the majority of our day with little people who exhaust us physically, finding an outlet that makes us think can be a relief, making you feel like a bit of your old self is still there.
Brain, Child is a little magazine, without a huge advertising budget. In order to grow, they depend on their readers to spread the word. In my little corner of blogdom, that's what I intend to do.
Check them out on-line and see for yourself. They're nice people over there. How nice? They've offered to give one of my readers a free one-year subscription. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post, and I'll pick a winner at random (or I'll let Mike do it. Being he has a background in statistical things and such). In honor of Thanksgiving (and an upcoming post!), just tell me one thing you're thankful for. I'll close the contest November 30.