I might have mentioned that I’ve been writing again, but I haven’t said much about what I’m writing. I challenged myself to write a book in a year and while I officially started this project May 5, 2020, the idea has been simmering for much longer. This book started when I was trying to get pregnant. At that time, I was thinking a great deal about the kind of parent I would be, the things that I would replicate from my own childhood, and maybe a few things I would do differently. I started to feel a need to share the life lessons I had learned with (what were at the time) my hypothetical children. The problem was then I would have to admit to my mistakes and no one likes to do that! These were the types of conversations that I was raised NOT to have: “What people think of you is important…you don’t hang out your dirty laundry for people to see. And when you’re an authority figure, you certainly don’t show weakness by admitting to your mistakes!”
Well, I’m throwing caution to the wind in the hopes that my twin daughters (now flesh and blood) will benefit from learning about my life’s lessons. The book I’ve been working on contains honest, humorous, and, most importantly, real stories. In its pages are things I wish my parents had talked to me about, regardless of the difficulty. Each chapter contains Life Lessons, Parenting Perspectives, symbolic photos, and meaningful stories. These parts show different sides of the same stories and will resonate differently depending on where you are in your journey, whether you’re the parent or child, and what perspective you need the most in any given moment. This book is a series of ‘letters’ to my daughters, but it’s also a conversation starter for parents and teenagers alike.
Let me give you a couple of examples of how my book might start a conversation. One of my close friends told me once that if her children ask her a difficult question, she reaches for a book and she uses that as the framework for their conversation. Maybe some day, she will pull my book off the shelf to discuss the tough questions. Other people might pull my book off the shelf when they’re having a rough parenting day. What they might think of as short cuts or failures are every day occurrences in my twin mom life. My goal with my stories is to change that voice of self-doubt to one of acceptance. My book might help start a conversation, make someone feel a little less alone, whether you’re a parent or a teenager, or simply provide a good laugh.
I’ve always wanted to write a book, but thought that I hadn’t learned or experienced enough to have a valid opinion or a unique voice about anything. Becoming a parent has been a journey filled with challenges which makes it worthy of writing, but it also initiated a huge shift for me. I used to hold my principles close and criticize based on my moral code (myself as well as others). But I would have hated for anyone to judge me based on what they saw of my journey…to get pregnant, being pregnant, or my early days a mother. There was so much going on behind the scenes and in my head that they didn’t know about or wouldn’t understand. Any judgement would be unfair.
So now, I do my best not to judge anyone. I’m only human, sometimes I fail. But I find myself thinking that each and every person has a story and you really shouldn’t judge at all, but certainly not until you’ve heard or read their story. What kind of amazing world would we live in if people’s stories were floating above their heads for everyone to read, if they were printed on the shirts they wore, or playing like soundtrack everywhere they went? I like to think the world would be a kinder, more accepting place.
This book started out for my girls, but I truly hope that others will find it helpful and maybe even entertaining. Maybe, just maybe, I can change the world one page at a time. And for Cami and Maya, I will save you each a copy for the day when you’re old enough to read it yourselves!
Letters to My Hypothetical Children: Life Lessons, Making Mistakes, and Keeping it Real is coming soon…stay tuned!