A s I continue to catch up on Project Life, I’ve been obsessively listening to various podcasts. One of these is called The Longest Shortest Time, which I discovered via This American Life (which, by the way, was HILARIOUS this week. You must listen!).

The Longest Shortest Time is all about parenthood. And even though I have no direct experience with parenthood I am TOTALLY FASCINATED by this podcast. (Also, nope – this is not a sneaky pregnancy announcement!) The more I listen, I’m just like, “GO MOMS! GO DADS! You’re amazing!”

Perhaps you remember the cheerleading starfish from the Phish concert? Well, she’s going crazy for good moms and dads these days…

So, speaking of amazing moms, I know one who deserves some fanfare! Several weeks ago, I got a sweet Facebook message from a lady named Jamie. We met over 10 years ago on a pilgrimage to World Youth Day (a really large gathering of Catholic youth from all over the world – the Pope comes, you camp out all night in a giant field, dance the night away with Italians and Ukrainians…it’s an incredible experience).

At any rate, I hadn’t been in touch with Jamie for a super long time, but she reached out a few weeks ago asking for suggestions for stress-free valentine ideas to do with kids. This superwoman takes care of three little boys. That’s a lot of rumbling energy.

Along with the question about valentines, she asked if I might participate in a Traveling Art Journal that she’s set up for one of her sons. If you thought the sisterhood of the traveling pants was cool, just WAIT until you read about Jonah’s Traveling Art Journal.

Jonah is a budding artist. And being a great, in-tune mother, Jamie is doing her best to encourage those passions. They set up this cute little journal that family and friends can add to – each page has a new artist and the book will continue to be added to over the days and years.

Art that interacts with the world is my favorite. MY FAVORITE, I TELL YOU!

I can only imagine how thrilled Jonah must be to flip through the pages and, in this way, interact with all the people who have contributed.

Here was my addition:

I sent it onwards to my artistic sister Leah – once she and a couple friends have added to it, they’ll send it back to Jamie and Jonah.

Jamie, I’m sure there are days when you’re ready to pull your hair out. Just know that I think you’re amazing! Any mom who makes a traveling art journal for her darling boy is doing an A+ job! I’m your biggest fan!

Here’s what I know: parenting has got to be the toughest gig around, but there are so many moms and dads out there who are being champions. Some champions create traveling art journals, others take their kids for walks in the woods, others simply get up every day and do the whole thing over again even when it feels impossible. It looks different everywhere you turn, but it’s all worthy of admiration and pom-pom cheering.

I’d love to offer some encouragement in the form of mail art to a parent who may need a little boost! (To get an idea about what I’m talking about, you can take a look at some of my previous fan mail to wonderful strangers.) Let me know about them in the comments – I’ll randomly choose one, email you for their name and address, and send them the piece of folk art I created for this post. Let’s team up!