In early May, I participated in the San Francisco book launch for, “Mama Said: a collection of short stories about motherhood,” the anthology that we, the creators and contributors, wish we’d had when we were new mothers. I read my essay, “It’s Okay To Leave Your Baby,” to the room, but really I read it to the story’s main characters also in attendance: my husband and our young daughters.
I knew that bringing my daughters would up the ante, but I chose to bring them anyways, because I wanted them to see their mama in action. I wanted them to sense my passion, to understand that not all “work” needs to be done in an office, and to (some day) realize how much I have and will sacrifice for them. The essay, while containing valuable advice for new mothers, is mostly a love letter to my family, expressing all of this and more.
Though I was anxious in the hours leading up to the reading, I felt immediately good when we arrived (early) to Green Apple Books, a store packed floor-to-ceiling with books both new and used, good vibes radiating from between pages. I didn’t feel nervous again until I got up there and the raw truth of what I had written struck me as intensely private, and there I was, sharing freely with a room full of lovely people, many of whom I had just met. I focused on reading slowly and, as I stood without a podium, not crossing my legs at the ankle. I shifted around a bit, and I settled with both of my feet planted firmly on the ground, balanced and steady.
It was hard for me to sleep that night, so moved was I by the whole experience, the stories read, the women behind the Mama Said project, the vulnerability of speaking truth, my inaugural book store reading. I was reminded of the infinite possibility inherent in living Now. How charged I am by writing and books and sharing. How beautiful it is to have dreams and communities.
If you would like to purchase the Mama Said eBook for $10 or the print book for $20, please click here.