I spent most of today on the couch, hiding under a pillow. Ryan’s been running a high fever all weekend, and my body is fighting whatever he has; I feel like I got sideswiped by a truck.
From under my pillow, I heard Stu trying to get my attention, saying “Honey, it’s time to pull yourself together and get excited.”
I peeked out. Stu was holding the world’s most thrillingly beautiful padded manila envelope. Inside were six paperback copies of Ben Has Autism, Ben Is Awesome.
“It’s your book!” he cooed.
|Please excuse the mess. And the unwashed hair. Ah, screw it, no excuses. Deal with my mess!
Nearly two years from when I had written it.
My first book. In my hands.
Yeah, you know I cried. It would be a more surprising story if I hadn’t.
I read it, pointed out the things that weren’t exactly as they were supposed to be, breathed, sniffled.
Instantly cured for the moment, I showed a copy to Ryan. I showed him my name on the cover. He read the dedication: “For Ryan.” I read to him. I read him the book I wrote for him and for kids like him. I don’t know if Ryan liked the book, but he paid attention, which is as much as I could hope for on the first read of a new book. I imagine we’ll be reading it again. He made a monster face when Ben made a monster face. He made an elephant sound when Ben made an elephant sound. He seemed to identify with Ben – they have a few things in common, you know…