"Woman Holding Child in Her Arms"by Amelia Bauerle

                 “Woman Holding Child in Her Arms”by Amelia Bauerle

I have heard other writers talk about their books as their babies and I thought I understood what they meant.  A book is something that is carried deep inside, waiting to make its appearance in the world.  It is made by you, connected to you and yet, somehow more than you.  It has a life of its own.   Yes…I thought I understood.  And then, along came I Am Her Daughter and I get it at a whole different level.

In the same way that little girls someday dream of becoming a mother, somewhere deep down the child Licia dreamed of speaking her truth into the world. Life took a lot of twists and turns and ups and downs before that special moment when the book was finally, fully born into the world.  Sometimes, the path to this day looked straight and clear and certain and at other times, it seemed elusive and far away.  Sometimes, it seemed as though I was too young to bring such a child as this book into the world and at other times, it seemed as though I was past the time when it was wise to give birth to this special, sacred child.

Licia, age 5 and my Shero

Licia, age 5 and my Shero

There were those who encouraged and supported me and those who tried to talk me out of the idea.  Sometimes, both of those voices were my own!  Every pair of conflicting feelings that an expectant mother feels was part of my experience of writing I Am Her Daughter. Time sped up and slowed down and sped up again.  I couldn’t wait to begin the book, to become pregnant with it – and yet, once I had embarked on the journey, there were moments when I felt confused and afraid and wished that I had not begun the process.  There were sleepless nights of worry and anxiety – and busy days of excitement and anticipation.  Days when I wished I hadn’t told anyone about the book because what if it never came to be?

There were smiles and tears and laughter – moments of deep grief and profound joy.  There were days when I forgot to eat and days when I couldn’t stop eating. (Thank goodness there weren’t too many of those!  Baby weight is looked at a lot more kindly than book weight!)  I planned and prepared and wrote and wrote some more.  All of that writing was shaped by my experience in the same way that, when I was expecting my sons, my thoughts about being a mother were shaped by the mothering I had experienced.

As the day came closer, every one of these feelings intensified until I was very nearly at overwhelm.  And then – the magical moment was here.  I Am Her Daughter is here, ready to meet the world.  Through the labor pains of publishing, I pushed and when the pain got intense, I pushed some more.  The last big push is over.  This is her Birth Announcement!  I Am Her Daughter has arrived!

I am a proud mother, basking in the glow of delivering this beautiful child into the world – and slightly fearful of how the world will treat her.  Be gentle with her, please.  She is my baby.

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