May 12, 2000

Mother’s Day

Stories of moms: How they treat us, how we treat them.


Tillie Olsen reads from her short story "I Stand Here Ironing," from her collection Tell Me A Riddle. In the story, a mother reviews all that's gone wrong in the raising of her oldest daughter...and makes a few conclusions about what she should think about her mistakes as a mother. And Host Ira Glass interviews his own mother, who insists—several times—that mothers are always taken for granted. (7 minutes)
Act Two

Are You My Mommy?

When Jessica Robinson was sent to adult prison at the age of 14, the state did such a terrible job taking care of her that several women—an embezzler, a convicted murderer, and some thieves—stepped in to mother her. Alex Kotlowitz reports. Seven thousand young people like Jessica are now in adult prisons nationwide. (21 minutes)


“It's Mom” by Sarah Seligman
Act Three

Mom Music

Beau O'Reilly and his mother Winifred, who had 14 children, discuss her secret feelings about Johnny Cash and other matters on Mother's Day. (9 minutes)