This weekend, I happened by a Waldenbooks in Massachusetts. I had to pop in - just to see. And right there in the parenting section, alphabetized just as it should be, was The Creative Family. My friend Jean and I stood there for a minute staring, with a tiny bit of squealing (on my part) and cheering (on hers). It was trippy.
When I came home, I shared the news with my family, who met me with equal parts enthusiasm and nonchalance ("the first book or the second book, Mama?" Ezra asked over his noodles). It perfectly captured just how this book - and the second one - has fit into our family life. Second nature, perfectly normal and yet - still really exciting.
Last night, I nostalgically browsed through a big file of photographs for The Creative Family that I hadn't peeked at in nearly a year, and found these early (unedited) attempts at the cover photograph (along with hundreds more). The cover photograph was such a process that in retrospect was symbolic of the whole book writing process for me. Lots of ideas, much heart and soul, a TON of learning, collaboration with a wonderful team of people, and most overwhelming to me of all - an enormous amount of help, love and support from friends and family, and of course, my four co-writers.
Looking at these earlier photos (taken by Steve and our friends Brandie and Jessie), I'm reminded of all the people that surrounded us and were an integral part in making this happen. SO very many friends and family who shared their time, their talents, and their love with us in order to make it all come together. And you, dear readers, are a big part of that, too. Not only for the entire opportunity which came about from this little space, but also for your patience as I talked about a book that you couldn't see for over a year. For your inspiring comments and emails that make me cry, laugh and teach me so much about family and life every single day. And for - as you have done by reading here and supporting the work that I do - making me a writer. A dream come true.
That's the trippy flood of ballooning gratitude I feel whenever I see this book now. There is an enormous amount of work and heart and "me" that I poured into this book. Of course. But there was also an enormous amount of work and heart poured into this book by so many others. I hope the book carries some of that collective energy as it heads out into the world and into the hands of families. I wrote the parenting book I wanted to read - the book I couldn't find when I needed one. I'm already a happy author, but I'd be thrilled if this book inspires just a tiny moment more of love, connection and creativity to your family's life together.
Thank YOU! And Happy April 1st!!