Editor’s Letter

Notes on Motherhood
With actress Rose Byrne, who shares her perspective on motherhood in our cover story. Byrne’s suit is by Michael Kors Collection. Photography by Sophie Elgort

When I first became a mother some 20 years ago, I took on the greatest privilege and purpose of my life, dedicated and imperfect as I am. Motherhood is a wild guess, no matter how many “how-to” books you consult. So, I turned to the wise counsel of my parents’ parenting book—a pledge to support their emotional confidence, “impart good values and good habits,” “be a broken record,” “lead by example,” etc.

While it is sometimes a maddening role, motherhood is without question the ultimate service job. My journey began in the service of others as an editor fresh out of college. In my first role after that of student, I learned that most often a gentle hand, rather than harsh rewriting, of an article is the key to improving it. I have dedicated 25 years to editorial work, which has paralleled and influenced my job as a mother, also a careful balance between being gentle and harsh, with a large dose of repetition. My love of pop culture, writing, editing, reading books and the high literature of poetry, parables and prose set a course for me that eventually led to the creation of this magazine, Purist. I sometimes joke that Purist is not only a wellness guide on the road of life but a guide to easing into the inevitable. But isn’t it, though?

And on this path to also find some meaning that I can impart to my littles comes choice—choosing what I find important in life, accepting failure, remaining humble in the face of adversity, living fully, seeing that we are bigger than ourselves, and serving others.

As I write this, I smile thinking about the minute-by-minute vicissitudes of our lives. This job, as mother, is the punctuation of my life, my complete work, my raison d’être, my legacy.

Happy Mother’s Day, every day, to all mothers—the first love in our lives!