Let’s Pretend We’re Normal: Adventures in Rediscovering How to Be a Family by Tricia Lott Williford is the story of a widowed mom learning to be a single mom after tragedy struck.
The first thing I noticed while reading this book, even before finishing the prologue, was how beautifully it is written. The author’s words make you want to keep reading just for the sake of reading them.
This is not how this was supposed to go! In the portrait I had long ago painted of my family, I didn’t intend to include words like, “widowed single mom.”
While my situation is different than Tricia’s, I too am learning how to live a new life I never saw coming; realizing that my happily ever after is nothing like I imagined. Books like Let’s Pretend We’re Normal remind me that while the happily ever after I dreamed of isn’t going to happen, a different happily ever after is still there. It may look different than I expected, but it’s there.
Still in the beginning of my new life, I find it comforting to read about single Moms who are several years ahead of me and thriving. Tricia shares her difficulties, her triumphs, funny stories, deep stories…about how she became a “woman who has been struck down but not destroyed, who lives only because she loves.”
This book is not a parenting manual, it simply tells the story of her family, their journey, and lessons she is learning along the way. Still, I found my self underlining her words, the lessons she’s learned striking a chord within me.
My favorite quote from the book is, “Sometimes you just have to love what’s in your hands.” So this isn’t the life I chose, it’s not the life I want. I can wallow in disappointment, sadness, and self-pity or I can choose to love what’s in my hands, to see the blessings, to make a new future with this crew.
Living through unexpected tragedy when her husband suddenly died, Tricia is often hesitant to adventure with her crew. Her husband was the one in charge of that stuff, not to mention the fear of suddenly losing her boys to tragedy she might have prevented. Living through tragedy and unexpected turns in life takes away the comfort of feeling ‘that will never happen to me’. Unlike Tricia, I tend to jump into adventure headlong- often a bit quicker and bigger than I should. I love what Tricia realizes about mothering her children, “Even if you never take your eyes off them, they’re still going to fall… It’s what you do next that matters.” Inevitably our children will get hurt- whether it’s a physical hurt or an emotional one, either way the important thing is that Momma is always there with comfort, guidance, and love when those hurts happen.
Her prayer, “God help me do this well” has become my prayer. Really, isn’t it the prayer of all Mommas? That’s our common ground, we all want to do this and do it well!
Let’s Pretend We’re Normal is a quick, easy read. In fact, this book reads a lot like a novel in the way it draws the reader along into the next story with no dull moments or antidotes drawn out too long.
This book is definitely a must read for all single moms (especially newly single moms) not as a how-to manual, but as proof that life does actually go on. Tricia’s writing infuses her readers with hope that life will still be wonderful even when it doesn’t look like the life once dreamed of.
Thank you Family Christian for providing the book for my review!
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