Hello friends! I am so excited to announce that I published my second book, Peek-a-boo: I See Me: 35 Lessons in Self-Care/Soul-Care as a Special -Needs Mom. I wondered about releasing this book during a pandemic but as this project began to haunt me considerably (really, it would not let me go!), it slowly began to make sense to do so.
I actually began writing this book about ten years ago, when Dan was about three or four years old. I wanted to publish it then, but I didn’t feel ready to bear my heart in this way. Instead, my first book, Girl Reconstructed: Crafting a Creative Business as a Special-Needs Mom is about raising a child with a disability in the context of entrepreneurship. I wanted to be open about my autism motherhood journey, and God, in his grace, allowed me to do just that from a place of power—teaching and showcasing my business as I also shared my vulnerability in caring for Dan.
Peek a Boo: I See Me frames my experiences with Dan not only through entrepreneurship, but through daily life experiences. I continue to take you through those early years when I worked from home on my Etsy business, but I also recount lessons learned while watching school plays, participating in church life, and returning to my museum career. Navigating these spaces as a mother raising a child with a disability has brought me to joy in unspeakable ways while unraveling me and revealing deep issues that I had failed to confront. In many ways, mothering Dan has helped heal my own childhood trauma—self-care transformed into soul care.
Now Daniel is thirteen years old. We are living through one of the worst health crises in history, and quarantine feels eerily familiar. Staying put has transported me back to the time in my life with Dan, at home, seven years ago. Special-needs parents know a thing or two about isolation. We know what it feels like to go out, grab food, and come right back because no one can supervise your kid like you. We are very familiar with our plans being dashed. We have learned to pivot, change course, and re-adjust.
Quarantine very much feels like a refresher course for the make-up test
Covid -19 provided. During the crisis, my peace was threatened in the same way that it was seven years ago. When I felt loneliness, insecurity, or frustration I would think Aah, I’ve been here before. It’s like God asking, “Did you really learn that lesson from five years ago? Here’s a pop quiz!” I was kicking myself in the pants for dragging my feet in publishing this book, but I believe Covid-19 is the perfect context in which to release it.
And just as it was back then, the swing has been our resistance during this time. The park across the street (something I took for granted) is our oasis. Daniel has always loved the swings. When he was younger, I would stand right in front of him, watching him like a hawk, waiting for the moment he would jump off and had to chase him as he ran away. As he has aged, the running away happens less frequently, and now I can sit next to him and swing. I forgot how much I loved swinging as a kid. How could I forget that? Easy! In caregiving, we tend to forget ourselves. As I discussed in one of these entries, remembering who I was pre-kids, pre-autism, has been an intentional part of my practice in resilience. It actually helps me love better, care better. And in doing so … I see me.
So here’s to ten years, roughly 2009-2019, of seeing me, of my showing up while I mother a child with a disability. My hope is that some of these lessons would resonate with you as you learn to show up for yourselves as well.
You can order the e-book or paperback here. I will be posting excerpts from the book here from time to time. I hope you join me on this new book journey.
Enjoy your day!