labor pains

Finally, it’s happening. I printed off my book, passed it to one of my friends to bind for me (via her work connections), and then, just last week, I smacked the book — an actual whole book, can you freaking believe it? — down on the table and announced, HAVE AT IT.

All along the kids have been begging to read it. “But it’s about us, Mom!” they’d wail. “You have to let us read it!” 

“Oh, I will,” I’d promise. “Don’t you worry.”

Now, they are.

With the book as finished as I can get it, I’ve switched from writing to hawking, i.e. finding an agent. Everyone says agent hunting is a grueling, soul-killing process, and everyone is right. But! I’ve already spent nearly eight years writing the damn thing so: I’ve got endurance. I’m in this for the long haul. [she says with panic in her eyes]

My younger daughter snatched the book up immediately. My younger son usually reads it when he’s eating: the other morning, he busted up over the part where my husband spelled out the word “push” in masking tape over the old tablecloth we spread atop the bedroom rug for my son’s homebirth. My husband reads it in fits and starts, over breakfast or in the early morning before everyone else gets up, and my older daughter reads it when she comes over in the morning to drop off Charlotte for the day and then waits for my husband to finish getting ready so they can go to work.* Once everyone finishes with it here, the book will go over to my older son and daughter-in-law so they can have a turn.

It’s sweet to see them all so excited, and it makes me a little nervous, too. I don’t usually spill my innermost thoughts about my children — about my parenting — to my children. I mean, they probably already know everything just by living with me, but saying it outloud feels different. More risky. A little scary. What if I haven’t portrayed them fairly? The last thing I want is for them to feel hurt or misrepresented. It’s a fine line to walk, being honest about myself while talking about them at the same time. 

But that’s why they’re reading it, I guess: so they can tell me where I’ve got it wrong so I can fix it. Here’s to hoping the damage isn’t too great! 

(And here’s to hoping I can find an agent, pleaseohpleaseohplease.)


*Over the weekend (I started writing this post last week), I changed course and told my older daughter she needed to be the first one to read it since it was her extreme late reading that pushed me to deviate so far from traditional educational practices. That same day she stopped by to pick up the book, and the very next morning she blew in the door and slammed it down on the table.

“You finished it?” I asked, my jaw dropping.

“Yep, at 11:30 last night. Seven hours.” And then, with a roar, “Take that, English people!”

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (2.1.21), chicken and sausage gumbo, ROAR, the quotidian (2.1.16), lemon creams, stuck buttons and frozen pipes, and just when you thought my life was all peaches, taco seasoning mix.


  • Misha Leigh

    I, too, have been readings for eons and I am so happy for you! I am also in the process of writing a book and would love to read more about your process of agent-finding and publishing if you care to share about that, too. Either way I am rooting for you and add me to list for advance purchase : )

  • Rose Shenk

    Congratulations! What a tremendous accomplishment. I hope the agent and the publishing follows quickly—and self publishing is also a decent option, which leaves you with complete control of your manuscript. I can’t wait to read it.

  • Perrine

    Way to go! I love your blog and have been reading it for 10 years or so. Hugely looking forward to the book. xoxo from Kenya.

  • kelly

    Congrats!!! Have followed your blog for years because I love the way you write. Authentic and from the heart.

    Please post when your book is available for purchase! Best of luck!

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