from my younger son, who can’t believe I disclosed something quite personal about him in my soon to be released memoir, Stretch Marks. Mind you, the story he’s referring to, happened fourteen years ago when the adoption process held us hostage in Ciudad Juárez and he was two years old.
“Thanks, Mom, now everyone is going to know!” I wanted to counter with, “I wish”, (as in, I wish EVERYONE would buy my book), but instead I stupidly replied that I’d also admitted some pretty awful things about myself. He merely fumed. There is no statutes of limitations in my sixteen year old’s world. I can almost see him hunched over, black Sharpie in hand, redacting that part and many others in the book, before my book signings.
In comparison, my eldest beamed, he clearly loves anything being written about him, good or bad. His burning question: How was Stretch Marks II coming along? I can see him, orange hi-liter in hand, marking up the good parts where he figures prominently, and selling the book at school for an extra buck or two.
They have not vetted the entire manuscript. But really, now, how many teenagers want to read a memoir written by their mother? And, yes, I do want to know and Hannibal Lechter’s kids don’t count.
For the record, I’ve offered them the opportunity to do so throughout the dozen drafts I’ve written over the years. They’ve smiled politely when I gave them their copy to read. I forced myself out of the room as they thumbed through it, imagining them comic book enthralled as they read. I kept my promise and didn’t grill them about each chapter. In fact, I didn’t bring it up at all. So, when I didn’t find it in the garbage can, I felt victorious. Until I found it doing double duty along with a stack of Captain Underpants and Dr. Seuss books being used to prop up a bookshelf in the TV room.
So, should I give them another chance?