M, my 6 year old middle child, terrorizes people everywhere she goes, with the big announcement, "My mommy's an AUTHOR." She tells people in the grocery line. M tells people in the library. She tells her teachers and friends. She'll tell people anywhere. Most of the time, people smile at her, "Nice child. So proud of your mom." It's just those few times, when we come across someone who we know, when the kind comments turn into enthusiastic probing inquiries and I am thrust into bearing my soul and having to explain. "Well no, I'm not published... I finished 2 picture books and am getting the nerve to send it out... I'm working on a children's book now... Yes, as soon as I'm published, I'll let you know."
When M's friends see me, they look at me in wide eyed wonder. "Are you really an AUTHOR? Are you famous? Do you know Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel? Do you get to ride in a limosine?" The answers are "No, no, no and no again." And M just shines and glows in the amazement of her friends.
I've tried to silence M. "Listen, this is our family secret. No one needs to know about this yet until we actually have a book we can touch." M just looks at me and sweetly asks, "Mommy, please tell me one of your AUTHOR stories!" I've explained to M, "Well, mommy has always dreamed about being a published author. That's why I'm working really hard on my book. I'm just not there yet." And M just gives me one of her knowing smiles. I've tried to bribe her. "If you keep this quiet, you can choose a Webkinz." So M tries and is quiet for awhile. Then she bursts in excitement over the expression on people's faces when she shares our little secret. "My mommy's going to be an AUTHOR!"
M is my biggest fan. She delights in the dramatic and revels in the excitement words create. M has given life to my characters and has given me the optimism to believe in my work. As M grows older, I hope she will continue to enjoy the power of the written word. Maybe M will be an AUTHOR!