Al Pittman (Dancing in Limbo, West Moon) would sit at the end of the bar at Casual Jack’s Roadhouse in Corner Brook incessantly smoking Matinee’s and drinking a double Newfie Screech and Coke watching the people around him like he was studying routes on a map. While tending bar I had the chance to get to know Al and we shared jokes, stories and poetry. Oftentimes these stories would be about his family so I was delighted to find his oldest daughter’s first book waiting in my mailbox one day last month. Planting Dandelions by Kyran Pittman is a memoir of one woman’s coming of domesticity. As she leaves one relationship to enter a new life with someone else and as quickly as it takes to say, “If we were ever going to make a baby, now would be the time,” she gets pregnant. What follows is a collection of essays that tells a story of dirty diapers, breastfeeding, themed parties, living with four men, and being a Newfoundlander in America, but Pittman also expresses her thoughts on the supermom syndrome, the hardships of motherhood and wifery, how having a feminist mother and a poet father effected her, how having children changed her relationship with her own mother, and how sometimes you just need to build a fort or host the party at your own house.
Pittman appeals to the hectic daily life of women with this honest collection that reads like a story that is full of wit and wisdom. I look forward to her next publication and am secretly hoping it’s a novel. She certainly has the chops for it.