Friday, March 28, 2014

My Mom's First Book Signing

I go to my Mom and Dad's house pretty much every Thursday night to make dinner, take care of my Mom, and give my children a chance to enjoy their grandparents.

Well, this week we are in the middle of one of the biggest projects of my life--launching our new book, Motherhood Realized and trying to get it on the NYT Bestsellers' list by Saturday--and I didn't know how I was going to balance my time during my visit with all of my responsibilities. (I try to stay off my phone and the computer when I'm with my parents, or course.)

Then this idea came to me:

What if I did a book signing with my mother and offered them to the first x number of people who purchased 10 copies online

The more I thought about this idea, the more exciting it became to me. So we got the plan together, spruced up the giveaway package, and included it here on our book page.

My mother has never written a published book. She has lived a life that is beautiful, and her love and teachings carry on through the lives of her children, but most of her writing consists of dozens of journals filled with ideas in shorthand--private little messages she wrote to herself and to God. She never felt that she had anything specific to teach anyone else.  Oh, if only she could see herself for who she really is...

So last night, I went to her house, and we had the sweetest book signing that has ever taken place in the history of the world. I can't wait to tell you about it.

First, my husband (a.k.a. my biggest supporter in the WORLD) took our children to buy party supplies (balloons, hats, paper goods, streamers...) and then coordinated this massive art project in the kitchen to create a "Happy Birthday" sign for Motherhood Realized that we could hang during the book signing.


Here's the finished project before we rolled it up to put in the car. (Alia painted the book on the left, Grace painted the logo, the boys painted the letters...with help from their dad.)


When we got to my parents' house, we gave them big hugs, and then I said, "I have got to tell you what's been happening this week! We launched our new book, and then it rose to #1 in Motherhood on Amazon, and it's been selling like crazy, and now we're hoping to make it to the NYT Bestsellers' list by THIS SATURDAY, and we have moms all over the world buying the book and joining our community, and tonight I brought a whole stack of books so YOU can sign them with me, Mom! We're going to have a little party! And we have balloons and streamers and party hats, and a cake, and it is going to be wonderful!"

They were so excited. My mom hugged me and kissed me over and over again, and my dad got a litle teary-eyed when I explained why I wanted my mom to sign the books.

"You never had the chance to write a book, Mom." I said. "But you are my inspiration! Everything I do is because I want other people to feel the love that you gave to me. And there are people out there who have never met you, but they know and love you because of the stories I share about you."

She smiled shyly and said, "Well, I never wanted any...." (then she trailed off--not knowing the right word to say).

"Praise." my dad said softly. He knows her.

"Yes!" she exclaimed--relieved that he knew what she was looking for. "Yes, I never wanted any praise. But I do love my children so much. And I always tried to be kind. I don't know why anyone would want a book signed by me, but, sure, I'll sign them!"

So we went in the living room and played beauty parlor:
 

And then we hung up the fun poster:



 And recorded this little video:


video

After that, Grace brought out the present she'd wrapped for me:



And I opened the gift to find this BEAUTIFUL token of love--a hand-painted daisy in our Power of Moms colors (that's going in my office):


My boys went to play handball for a bit, and Gracie went into the kitchen to start on the cake.


And we had a fun dinner party--complete with hats and balloons...


And, of course, the darling six-year-old who provides comic relief:


Then the kids got settled into an activity in the back room while my mom and I sat at the table and started signing books.


This is where it gets PRECIOUS. I can hardly even write about it without smiling ear to ear.

The process went something like this (I am NOT making this up).

"Mom, we just published a new book!" (Because by this time, she'd totally forgotten our previous conversation.)

"You did?!!!!" she replied--totally surprised and enthusiastic.

"Yes! Here it is!" I said, handing her a copy.

"Motherhood Realized...oh, what a beautiful title. And look what a lovely book!"

"There are some people who bought the book who want you to sign it."

(Laughing) "ME??" They want ME to sign it? Why would they want THAT?"

"Well, because you are the inspiration for the book, and you are such a wonderful mother. Will you sign your name?"

"Well, okay. Where should I write it?"

"How about right here? --But don't bend the cover back, Mom. We don't want to crease it. This is for someone else."

"Okay," (reluctantly resisting the urge to make a crease) "What do I write?"

"You can just sign your name--Zoe."

"Shouldn't I say, 'With Love'?"

"Sure, if you'd like."

"Yes, it has to be with love." she replied emphatically.

So with more effort than I realized it would take, she carefully signed the book, and then I added my name.

But when I tried to bring over a second book, it was just too much for her. She started to get confused, and she became very overwhelmed, and she just couldn't do another signing.

So I took her in the kitchen, and we chopped some vegetables for our salad for a few minutes, and, once she was calm, I brought out a fresh book.

"Mom, we just published a new book!" I said--with as much excitement as the first time.

"You DID?!!!" she replied--with equal, if not more enthusiasm than before.

And then we went through the WHOLE experience above...all over again.

Every single step.

Twenty times.

It took more than two hours, and in between each signing, I handed her my phone with this photo on it (to give her mind a rest and a "restart"):


And by the time I left the room with the signed book and came back with the new one, she was ready to be excited again that her daughter had published a book!!!

Is that not the sweetest thing in the world? I got to share that moment with her over and over and over again. I got to tell her 20 times how she is my inspiration. I got to explain to her exactly why people wanted her to sign their books. And EVERY SINGLE TIME she was about to write her name, she said,  "It HAS to be 'With Love'."



This has been an amazing week for me. I can't even put into words how it feels to have so many people supporting this dream. 

Part of me wishes my mom could "really be here" for all of it. I wish she could come to our official book launch next Thursday, and I wish she could understand exactly what is happening and jump up and down with me over every success.

But the other part of me realizes that even though she can't express it, she knows.

And one day we'll get the chance to sit down and talk all about it. (And maybe you can be with us, and we can have one big party...)

If you would like to get one of the 20 books that my mom and I signed, there are only a handful left. Simply email your receipt for 10 copies of the book to 10@powerofmoms.com, and you'll receive a link to download our Premium Power of Moms package (valued at $216), plus, if you're one of the first 20, I'll personally mail you one of the signed books. 

And please--even if you can't buy 10 books or even one book, if you can share our Book Page with everyone you know--and encourage them to support this cause that is absolutely centered on love for families, I would be SO appreciative!

With MUCH love,
April
 
























10 comments:

  1. Your mother is the sweetest! Thank you for sharing that story with us. I love how patient and loving you were with her to repeat things over and over and knowing when to pause to take care of her needs.

    AND what a fantastic family you have to support you through this! That painted canvas - oh my heart! You are one blessed mom!

    Crossing my fingers for the NYT list!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Shannon! That was a sweet day, and I appreciate all the amazing support you've given this book launch. You are such a great friend and champion of the family. xo

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  2. This is precious. Your story touched me on so many levels. Thank you so much for sharing it, April.

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    1. Thanks so much for all of your support, Heidi. Love you!

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  3. What a wonderful family event you all organised and made happen. A team effort and happy memories. How sweet to have your Mum's excitement and praise so many times, and you being gracious and sweet to run with it over and over. The deep love between you and your Mum is evident in your posts (and photos). - Heather (in Scotland)

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    1. Thank you, Heather! (And, by the way, I love getting messages from "Heather in Scotland.") So fun. You are such a great supporter. xo

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  4. April: I can hardly read and write without my heart just wanting to burst...in many good ways...for this beautiful post. My father was healed from late stage dementia on March 14, 2013 when he entered heaven's gates. There are no words to express the emotions that transpired over the 4 1/2 years that my husband and I served as his caregiver. Sadly, there were many, many missed opportunities to just "be" with him. It's so easy to become caught in the overwhelm of wanting to fix things in addition to the logistics that are involved in caring for an ill parent in addition to a young family. I just wanted to encourage you that despite the stress that may be involved in gathering up your family each week, or balancing your busy schedule with visits etc., I encourage you to continue following your heart in this way. I'm truly inspired by how you maintain such healthy boundaries balancing your many important roles. May you continue to spend many meaningful visits with your mother and may your children continue to see the beauty and wisdom that she beholds and be blessed by your loving care for her.

    I just recently discovered your blog and podcasts b/c of The Mom Conference and am very excited to dive into the many resources and insights. God bless! Kati (Atlanta, Ga)

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    1. Kati, thanks so much for reaching out and for your beautiful encouragement. I know you can totally understand how exhausting it can be to balance the needs of an aging parent with the demands of a young family. Thank you. Your words mean so much.

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  5. Hi April,
    I'm new to your blog and how inspiring!! My sister, Holly, lives in Arizona and attends a learning circle started from you and Saren, and really likes it. We have a dear mother I am caring for, with alzheimers, as well. Your pictures and article is so touching. Yes, patience and love are the keys!! I love to spend time with her and serve her. Time spent is a priceless treasure!! Thanks for your insight and talent shared with us all!! Bless you! Your daughter's party is precious!! We have two tween daughters and they are so wonderful!!! Bless us all for our efforts great and small!! Congratulations on your book!! I'm looking forward to more great articles :) We're all in this together :)

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    1. Julie, I can't tell you how comforting it is to know that others are out there doing the same thing with their own mothers. Thank you for your sweet comment! xo

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