I debuted the season’s first couple of Poetry with a Purpose Writer’s Workshops during the last two weeks and was approached at each event by a child who had a strong emotional reaction to What Daddy Do and/or What Mommy Do, from my What We Do: Children’s Book Series.
They sought out some comfort, overwhelmed by the need to share with me their fears, their pain and their confusion. They wanted me to give them answers. Something straight forward, similar to what’s promised in the books, with their brightly illustrated, smiling depictions of loving parent/child interactions.
As it is, though, for many, for those like the beautiful kids who recently tugged on my shirt tail, my books offer up no more than a fantasy. A woven mythology in a land of cracked concrete and meanspirited people and politics and a persistent sense of danger that no 6-year old should have to learn to accept.
But, then again, maybe I’m just as naive as those kids, thinking that things ought not be this way, feeling obligated to help each child who expresses some need, some longing or desire for normality or for nothing more than a loving and safe family environment.
And yet, even as I mourn for their loss of innocence, it is a naivety that I refuse to abandon. I’d just as soon abandon all hope.
Along this line, I want to give a copy of What Daddy Do and What Mommy Do to every pre-K through 2nd grade student who could benefit from seeing positive images of themselves, smiling and being loved and dreaming of greater possibility.
Buy one or both books from the What We Do: Children’s Book Series and/or donate a copy to help make this happen. Each time the donations reach the level of a print run, I will give the books to an elementary school and provide them with an interactive Author’s Presentation for each Pre-K-2nd grade class.
We’ve been on a journey. It hasn’t always been smooth. In fact, more often than not, it has been an outright struggle. There have been mistakes and unmet obligations encountered along the way. Regrets that I fully intend to address with integrity.
But I believe in the mission. I believe in the potential, born from inspiration, that led one of the kids who reached out to me to create their own entry in the What We Do: Children’s Book Series.
And so, I present to you, What Teachers Do, by Aiden McGee, 1st Grade: