My daughter has been asking to read our novel, Depression Cookies, since the day it come out. I wanted her to be old enough to handle some of the themes. I also worried she might have a hard time distinguishing between reality and fiction, since the book has some common elements with my life.
Recently, I decided she was ready. I told her to discuss anything she wanted with me.
Tween: Mom, you are a liar.
Me: What are you talking about?
Tween: In the book you said you'd never make your kids do all these things, and you do.
Me: First of all, the book is fictional. Second, I wrote a teenager's point of view.
She was still looking perplexed and had yet to uncross her arms and soften her stance.
Me: Trust me, dear, most teenagers swear they'll never do what their mom does. They truly believe that, so to a teenager it is not a lie. But I need to let you in on something (I leaned in close and whispered for dramatic effect)... all of you will.
Tween: No, I won't.
She huffed off. Later that day, she admitted she could relate to Krista (the teenage character I write in the book). I decided not to push my luck and remind her I was once a teenager. I'm hoping Krista can do that for me.
I'll be interested to see how the book affects her. It means a lot to me what she thinks. The side benefit is it will also open up a dialogue to talk about some sensitive issues. Wish me luck.
When's the last time you were nervous about a loved one's opinion/reaction?