What an incredible feeling it is to know that Stretch Marks is making its way out into the world.
Thanks so much for buying Stretch Marks and recommending it to others. I love getting your phone calls and emails telling me how parts of my story have resonated for some of you.
Please help me get the word out about Stretch Marks by sharing it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to rate Stretch Marks on Amazon, and adding even a brief review makes a big impact.
Can’t deny I’m disappointed that I didn’t make the final cut for the Listen To Your Mother show, but it was fun to audition and visualize myself on a San Francisco stage.
Since I won’t be reading it, I’d like to share it with you!
A Lioness in a Size Eight Pantsuit
I’m one of eleven children and grew up in a town where I was related to half of the population on both sides of the border. After delivering a perfect son and three civilized daughters, my mother unleashed a passel of boys in rapid succession into our neighborhood, where they terrorized prized rose bushes, cats, and mailmen. The bundles of steaming tamales and homemade cookies my mother sent along with apologetic note cards helped keep the police away, but the tragic fact that she had become a young widow is what kept our neighbors from running us out of town.
If we dared question her authority, a vein would protrude over her arched eyebrow; her green eyes darkening like old moss. This was her house, her rules. When we ran for cover to avoid a spanking, my mother chased us, equally fast on high heels or in fuzzy magenta slippers. If she couldn’t catch us, she used whatever she held in her hand to show us who was boss. She possessed a wicked right-handed throw and could land a potato right between our shoulder blades from a good eighty feet away. The sound of her satisfied laughter, as she felled us, only added insult to injury.
I’d always assumed I’d inherit her prolific childbearing capability and was devastated by my decades long struggle with infertility. When we finally adopted our toddler sons from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, I reveled that Spanish, my first language, reigned in our household as it did in my mother’s. Our eldest entertained us at dinnertime with bits of songs and phrases he’d learned in pre-school. He tumbled out syllables for milk then pointed to his plate, glass, and fork, translating each from Spanish into English, beaming with pride.
That moment swiped up a decades’ old memory of my mother swaggering into the kitchen one weekend while her brood polished off breakfast. She gestured with a rolled up Reader’s Digest for us to pipe down. A Mexican-bred debutante, sans high school diploma, she delighted in stumping her college-bound kids with newly acquired vocabulary from the Word Power section. Standing center stage in front of the stove, she scowled like Marlon Brando then addressed us as we scarfed our chorizo con huevos.
“I’m horny!” she yelped. “Hor-nee, hor-nee, hor-nee.” Punctuating each syllable with the Reader’s Digest like a conductor’s baton. Food and drink sprayed in every direction. Our side-splitting laughter stymied my mother. My brothers pretended horror while one of my younger sisters, in junior high, blanched and pushed her plate away.
“Well, I am,” she persisted and pointed to the bolded word as I read the entry.
“Ornery, Mom. You’re ornery.”
“That’s what I said, horny.”
Am kicking up my heels that Stretch Marks is now available in paperback on Amazon.com!
I’m writing this in disbelief that I’m no longer revising, designing, nor proofing.
What a relief!
And what a joy to have this opportunity to tell you a story. My amazing story.
writing these words in my journal, “Today, I become a mother. My arms will be full.” Emotions swelled like high tide that I was on terra firma to becoming a mother. The notion of transforming my journals into a book hadn’t taken root.
I spent the next few years overwhelmed by raising my toddler sons and adjusting to the considerable changes in my life. I had to accept that couldn’t have it all. I closed my web design business. I could only take on one day at a time.
And one day at a time, I began to write my story with the express purpose of wrestling with my doubts. One page at a time evolved into a draft then a bona fide manuscript.
Today, I’m finally holding Stretch Marks in my hands and opened up the paperback to this page.
It should be available on Amazon.com in a few days. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks!
From Motherlode to Mamiverse the discussions on balancing family, work, parental roles, marriage, and life in general continues to be juggled between the parents and most of the time, it seems, excludes the kids.
Why aren’t our children part of the discussion?
When my sons were just beginning grade school and learning about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, I introduced them to John F. Kennedy. They were on the apex of an “I want” blue streak, (insert toy, DVD, pet, or candy).
I was primed to give them my usual spiel about the importance of earning and saving their money, but instead remarked, “You know, an older friend of mine, someone like Grammy, once said to me when I was young, “…ask not what your parents can do for you; ask what you can do for your parents.” I apologized to President Kennedy for masticating his legendary quote, but someone like their grandmother packed a bigger punch than a president. They stared back at me with furrowed eyebrows. I explained that my older friend was asking us to think of others.
Now my sons are leaving high school and I continue to remind them, using the correct version of President Kennedy’s quote, that the world doesn’t owe them anything, instead its about them contributing to their world, community, and family.
So, how do we include our children?