Six weeks ago I entered Becoming Us into a Nonfiction Book Awards competition with some trepidation. Sure I think it’s a great book, it should be – it took me 15 years to research and write it.
And yes, I get great feedback, from both parents and professionals.
But what I get most of all, what most authors get when they send a book out into the world, is silence.
Many authors think of their books like a baby. This is true for me, too. I tended this book with almost the same love, attention and anticipation I did with my other three kids. They would probably say more.
So silence in response to your baby is worrying.
Is there something wrong with it? Is it too much? Is it going to put people off to the idea and adventure of having kids? Is it going achieve what I set out to do – fill the gap between expectation and reality when it comes to parenthood? Or share the wonder of it, but in an unexpected way?
This morning I received an email to congratulate me that Becoming Us had not only won a Nonfiction Author Book Award, but a Gold Star, the highest level. I also received some feedback from the judges:
“You've written a book I always wished I'd had,
and that I'll love to share”
and “I learned a lot about relationships and family creation. This is a great book for counseling and human service workers (social workers) and maybe even some obstetrics and gynecology nurses could help if they read this book, especially the last two chapters.”
I’m thrilled and proud that Becoming Us has been acknowledged with this award – but it’s not for me.
To the dear friend who asked “is this how it’s supposed to be?” This is for you.
To the new dad who trusted enough to share in our group that his new baby “felt like an anchor”, this is for you.
To the Childbirth Educator who is going above and beyond her job description to educate beyond the birth, this is for you.
To each and every parent who who wonders if they’re doing the right thing, or even if they've done the right thing bringing a precious baby into our increasingly uncertain world, who worries if they’re the only one feeling this way or why the heck nobody’s talking about all this stuff:
I see you. I hear you. We’ve got you.
This is for you.