My Daughter Is My Inspiration For My Children’s Books

I had always wanted to be a mother, but when I found out I was pregnant, I wasn’t ready. I’m the oldest of five siblings, two sisters from my mother and step-dad, another sister and a brother with my step-mom and father. I was the last of my siblings to have a child, as each one of them has had children before me.

I was two months along when I found out that I was pregnant. I had also found out that the father of our unborn didn’t want kids. Almost daily he would harass me to get an abortion. I don’t believe in abortions. I just couldn’t live with myself knowing what I did. I also couldn’t let someone push me into getting an abortion either. I decided I was going to have this child even if I had to raise him or her by myself.

I found my way back to Arkansas. My relationship was over due to my unplanned pregnancy, plus I was homesick and missed my grandparents. My grandpa was ill and my grandma wanted someone to help her take care of him, so I moved in.

I didn’t have a happy childhood growing up…actually I didn’t have a childhood at all. I didn’t want that to happen to my daughter. My mom and I weren’t close at all. Half of my childhood I was sent to my grandparents to be taken care of. I had also been to twelve different schools before I graduated as we moved around the country a lot.

When my daughter was born, it was love at first sight. I was mesmerized. I had a lot to learn about being a parent. More importantly, I had a lot to learn about being a single mom. I had the help of my grandparents, my step-mom, and three of my siblings, along with my sister in law, to teach me a few things about babies and being a new mom, but the rest came to me naturally.

It’s easy to see from my pictures on my blog or from my instagram that I love to see my daughter smile or hear her laugh. I’m constantly acting silly. I’ll sing and dance to her cartoons or make silly faces at her just to see her smile. Usually she gives me a serious look that can only say, “Really mom?” I make silly sounds or noises when playing with each of her toys. More or less I’m a big kid. It does rub off, as I will hear her making noises while playing with her toys. For example, she’ll roar when playing with her dinosaurs, say vroom, vroom while playing with her cars. Sometimes she’ll come up to me and roar, pretending to be a dinosaur herself.

Every night we have a routine. I make sure she has all of her favorite stuffed animals in bed with her. I tuck her in and kiss her on both cheeks. I then begin to say four things, and she repeats each one after I say them, “Go to bed, go to sleep, good night, I love you.”

It is hard being a single parent, especially after learning she has Autism. But it is when she walks up, gives me a hug for no reason and says, “I love you Mommy”, it makes her meltdowns bearable.

I had taken her to Disney World this past summer. It was the highlight of both of our lives. I had tears in my eyes just seeing how happy she was visiting Disney World and seeing her favorite characters Merida and Tinkerbelle in person.

We watch kid’s movies together and I read to her. I think her favorite book is Green Eggs and Ham, just from the way I read it each time. I’ve noticed when others read to her she isn’t as interested into it as when I read to her. I have to tell them to make the characters come to life or change their voice with each character. It is then that I had decided I would like to write children’s books.

My first published children’s book is called Dana’s First Fish. Dana’s First Fish tells the story about a little girl whose mom is taking her to get her first pet. Dana has decided that she wants to get a goldfish. But where do goldfish come from? Dana and her mom go on an adventurous journey to find out!

I enjoy watching my daughter play and see how she uses her imagination. It is that imagination that I use in my writing; how the children in my stories use their imagination to make things come alive. I have other children’s books in the works where I use the same character, Dana and her curiosity and imagination.

Dana is my daughter’s initials. The character Dana is also modeled after my daughter. The illustrator asked if I had anyone in mind for the little girl in my book, I had said yes, my daughter. I then sent the illustrator pictures of my daughter. Dana does have a likeness to my daughter, the same curiosity too. The same imagination. The same willingness to explore.

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