9.05.2012

My Mom Voice Won Over My Reader Voice

I've been a member of the From Left To Write Book Club for a while. It has consistently been one of my favorite online communities and has inspired what I feel are some of my best posts on this blog. And, oh yeah, we get to read a great list of diverse books... Except I didn't read this one. The point of the book club is not to write reviews of books, but to allow the book to inspire a post. And though I didn't read January First by Michael Shofield, it inspired this post.

Being a mom changes something in you. Every four year old is as innocent as your own. Difficult stories, diagnoses, painful experiences all take on a new layer of severity. It could be your child. What would you do if it were? How would you survive? These thoughts now touch me deeply. They reach deep down to a place of emotion I didn't even know was there before I became a mom.

I don't like to get emotional. I'd rather keep my emotions at bay and avoid crying as much as possible. I find myself avoiding sad movies. I skim over articles about victimized children. I refrain from reading blogs about tragedy. I try to keep myself safe.

I signed up to read January First with some hesitance. The story begs me to read it. But, I was conflicted about whether it would be good timing with being as pregnant as I am these days. Take this line from the cover, for instance: A Child's Descent Into Madness and Her Father's Struggle to Save Her... Might not be in the best interest of my emotions to read that book right now, said my inner mom voice.

But, my reader voice encouraged me to open it and give it a chance. Go read the description of the book. Looks fascinating, right? But, should I read a father's memoir about his young daughter's struggle with severe schizophrenia? I received the book, turned it over, read the back and was torn. Then I talked to my BFF, who knows me all too well, and encouraged me to put the book aside and read it later.

I was torn. I was dying to read the story, but it scared the hell out of me. And, ultimately, I decided to skip the book and protect myself. I made a choice as a mom and a reader. I love reading. I treasure books. Being a reader is a big part of who I am, but I allowed my mom voice to speak a little louder to me this time.

One day I'll read this book. But, for now it's going to sit on my bookshelf waiting for me to get through the next seven weeks of pregnancy and those first few emotional weeks of having an infant. Then my reader voice will be heard.

How far would you go to advocate for your child? In January First, father Michael Shofield and his family struggle to find the right treatment for his daughter Jani, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at six years old. Join From Left to Write on September as we discuss the Shofield's memoir January First. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

10 comments:

Nancy Cavillones said...

I don't blame you! My youngest is 2 and I still can't read or watch anything related to horrible events involving children. A few people recommended Room but I just couldn't do it...

Amy @ UsingOurWords.com said...

Right now, take care of you, of that baby, and the rest of your family. That's the moral of the story anyway. Advocate for YOUR children. And that's what you're doing by keeping yourself in the best mindset possible. (But I do think you'll like it when you're ready...)

Thien-Kim aka Kim said...

The book will be there for you when you're ready. Just get ready for the soon-you'll-have-three-kids-ride! Thanks for being part of From Left to Write.

Jen said...

I don't have kids but given my own struggles, my mothers and her relatives, it makes me wonder if I do have kids, would they get it too?

melanie said...

i don't blame you! at this stage in my life it made my thankful for my four healthy kids. they certainly make like challenging, but overall I am glad our problems are relatively manageable.

Cindy Fey said...

I felt the same way as you about this book. I have great sympathy for the writer and his daughter but I don't want to immerse myself in their world right now.

Neena said...

That's the joy of a book - it's always there waiting for you.

Desiree Allen said...

I am always amazed at the things that pull at my heartstrings now that I'm a mom. I was always sensitive to stories with children before, but I find myself even more conscious of what I am reading/watching these days.

It's a great book -- when/if you decided to read it, I'd be curious to read your thoughts after.

Some Suburban Mom said...

You will read the book when it's time to read the book. Your post makes perfect sense to me. Take good care of yourself and get ready to move from a one to one defense to a zone defense! Having three is great fun :)

Brittany Meyers said...

Good on you!! I love you - and all your emotional self-preservation ;) xoxo